England: Blow for Steve Borthwick as Tom Curry ruled out of Six Nations opener

Sale Sharks Tom Curry goes off as he is replaced during the Gallagher Premiership match at the Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture date: Sunday January 8, 2023. he is now in doubt for England's Six Nations opener. Credit: Alamy
Sale Sharks Tom Curry goes off as he is replaced during the Gallagher Premiership match at the Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture date: Sunday January 8, 2023. he is now in doubt for England's Six Nations opener. Credit: Alamy

Sale Sharks director of rugby Alex Sanderson has announced that England flanker Tom Curry will miss the start of the Six Nations due to a hamstring injury.

The back-row picked up the issue in the first half of the Sharks’ impressive 24-16 Premiership victory over Harlequins on Sunday.

Sanderson initially feared that Curry would be out for up to two months but believes that he will recover in time for the clash with Wales on February 25.

The 24-year-old may even be available for the Red Rose’s second game against Italy, but Sale and England will not want to rush him back.

Out for a month

“We thought 3C hamstring tear, but it is a 2C hamstring tear so it wasn’t as bad as originally thought. We got him scanned, got his assessed, got him re-assessed,” Sanderson told reporters.

“So a 3C would have been six to eight weeks (out) and he is looking to play at the back end of the Six Nations.

“With it being a 2C and with Tom being very diligent in his rehab, it means he could be back for Wales if not the second game (against Italy on February 12).

“But certainly Wales, so that is a real positive for England and for all of us because I want England to do well.”

Despite England having plenty of depth at openside, it is a blow for new head coach Steve Borthwick, who has taken over from Eddie Jones.

Curry has been a vital cog in the squad since making his Test debut as a teenager in 2017, earning 46 caps for the national team.

Sanderson expects the flanker to get his head down, however, and do his utmost to get back out on the field.

“He gets on with things quickly, at least on the outside he does… So seemingly he has got his head around it and as I said to him, ‘Just focus on the Six Nations, Tom, just get your head around’,” he said.

“Now that he knows it could have been six to eight (week lay-off) and it’s more like four to six, he is a lot more positive about that.”

Update on George Ford

Another Sale player who is currently injured but hoping to feature for England in the Six Nations is George Ford.

The fly-half has not played for the Sharks this season due to an Achilles injury but is nearing a return to action.

“Bath (on January 27) is the plan for George at a push,” Sanderson added. “I am right in assuming they [England] can only pick a certain number.

“It will be interesting, won’t it? Marcus Smith hasn’t played. Neither has George. Owen is on form (but is now suspended).

“Who do you pick, do you pick all three and two of them come through because I know they are going to pick 35 as a training squad and that gets released on Monday.

“I haven’t had any communication from Steve around it yet, probably because he knows I have got a mouth like a radio, and I’d tell you (media) guys.”

Sanderson’s charges take on Toulouse in the Champions Cup this weekend and will look to close the gap in Pool B, where they trail leaders La Rochelle by four points.

READ MORE: Saracens star Owen Farrell banned for four matches but available for England’s Six Nations opener

The article England: Blow for Steve Borthwick as Tom Curry ruled out of Six Nations opener appeared first on Planetrugby.com.