‘The only option’: Tom Curry requires hip surgery and set to miss Six Nations

<span>Photograph: Paul Harding/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Paul Harding/Getty Images

England have encountered a blow to their medium-term plans with the news that Tom Curry needs hip surgery and will miss the rest of the season. The influential Sale flanker will require a lengthy period of rehabilitation and is set to be unavailable for both club and country until next autumn.

The 25-year-old, who earned his 50th cap for England in the bronze final win against Argentina at the World Cup, has consulted Harley Street specialists who have recommended a clearout operation, which will involve repairing some wear and tear around his hip socket and shaving off a little bit of bone. “This is the only option,” said the Sharks’ director of rugby, Alex Sanderson. “He is still a young lad and it’s the best thing for him in the short term, to ensure he is able to be more robust [and] to train and progress his game the way he wants to.”

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Curry’s all-action style is among the main reasons England and the Sharks both value him so highly but he has suffered a morale-sapping sequence of injuries. A hamstring injury ruled him out of this year’s Six Nations and he also damaged an ankle ahead of the World Cup, before being sent off just three minutes into the opening pool game against the Pumas.

On a day which further underlined the physical toll of playing top-level rugby union, the Gloucester prop Val Rapava-Ruskin has also been told he needs knee surgery and will be out for several months but Saracens have issued a more encouraging update on Ben Earl, among England’s standout players at the World Cup.

The back-rower is set to be fit for the start of the Six Nations championship despite having undergone knee surgery. Earl had a minor operation to repair his medial meniscus today but is expected to be back playing in six to eight weeks. There had been speculation he might miss the opening couple of rounds of the Six Nations but his Saracens coach, Mark McCall, is now confident he will be back sooner rather than later.

“I think he will be playing in the month of January,” McCall said. “There are three or four games in January so that would be ample time for Ben to get in. He’s had a busy time with a lot of minutes in August, September and October, so to have a six-week period not playing rugby might actually be good for him in the long run. We’re all pleased it’s not a serious long-term injury.”

Saracens, however, are likely to be without another England international, Alex Lozowski until next summer after the centre tore his anterior cruciate ligament in last weekend’s win over Harlequins. The Sarries forward Callum Hunter-Hill will also be sidelined for the next four months but a scan has cleared Elliot Daly to resume playing immediately after he pulled out of the Quins game just prior to kick-off with a hamstring twinge.