England coach Eddie Jones keen to see Tom Curry realise full potential

ALTHOUGH not quite going as far as saying he could be the next Richie McCaw, England head coach Eddie Jones did concede it is “frightening” to think what Tom Curry will be like by the 2023 World Cup.

BRIGHT FUTURE: England's Tom Curry (centre) in action with France's Romain Taofifenua (left) and Cyril Baille at Twickenham. Picture: David Davies/PA

The omnipotent Sale Sharks openside was imperious yet again in Saturday’s 23-20 over France, producing crucial turnovers –especially one on the stroke of half-time – big defensive hits and generally causing chaos for his opponents.

Jones said: “He continues to impress us as a player that’s developing. He’s still only 22 years of age – his body’s still filling out – but he’s become a real leader in our team.

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“He drives the physical standards and the standards at the breakdown. He’s only going to keep improving. It’s frightening to think what he’s going to be like by the World Cup.”

Jones revealed the flanker – who remarkably has already won 32 caps and started in a World Cup final – watches videos of All Blacks legend McCaw and Australian great George Smith, who the England coach described as the “foremost exponents of number seven play in the last 20 years”.

Asked if Curry could reach the levels of that formidable duo, Jones replied: “I wouldn’t put that on him at this stage.

“But what I do know is that he doesn’t know and I don’t know how good he could be…. but we intend to find out.”

Jones added: “He’s a strong, strong boy but also has speed. The big thing he’s developed is his attacking game; he’s carrying the ball a lot more than he used to.

England head coach Eddie Jones. Picture: David Davies/PA

“He was very much a pattern player; he fitted into the pattern of a team. But we’re encouraging him to be more of a positional player who plays to the ball rather than away from it.

“We feel like he’s making great developments in that area.”

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