Tom Curry vows England will match Argentina passion in Twickenham showdown: ‘We won’t get swept away’

Composed: Tom Curry insists England won’t get caught up in the emotion against Argentina on Sunday  (Getty Images)
Composed: Tom Curry insists England won’t get caught up in the emotion against Argentina on Sunday (Getty Images)

England will resist the temptation to turn into wind-up merchants when facing the notoriously passionate Pumas in Sunday’s Autumn Nations Series opener against Argentina.

Eddie Jones’ men will instead bid to fight fire with fervent mental fire at Twickenham, with flanker Tom Curry backing the hosts to match the visitors’ ardent approach.

Argentina’s players and coaches already knew how to whip each other up into a frenzy, and that was before famed motivator Michael Cheika took the coaching reins.

The master Australian man-manager has only enhanced still further that raw mental edge among the Pumas, leaving England expecting a major tussle this weekend.

Sale flanker Curry revealed England are preparing to meet that abrasive challenge head-on however, taskmaster boss Cheika and all.

“We’ve spoken a bit about emotion and in terms of Cheika, he understands that, and he’ll be able to harness that, from himself and the way he is, and he’ll be able to bring out the best in them,” said Curry.

“I think you can be swept away by what they’re doing. We understand what they are about, but we need to bring out the best in ourselves.

“We don’t need to go out there with a gameplan for winding them up or anything, we want to be accurate and play good rugby. That’s how we want to win.

“We know what’s going to come but that doesn’t mean we’re going to sit there and watch it. For us it’s really important that we understand what we want and how we’re going to do that.

“Yes, it involves emotion like every game, you’re representing your country, but I think in terms of how we want to set the tone in the first 20 minutes, that ultimately does come down to physicality and accuracy.

We’ve got to show our passion and physicality, but we’ve got to be accurate and composed

“If we’re physical we can keep the momentum and we can stay on top; if we’re accurate we can then back it up. So we understand what they will bring but by no means are we just going to sit there and watch it.”

When quizzed if England can match the Pumas’ raw passion, Curry continued: “Yes 100 per cent, I think that’s the passion in rugby that you don’t see in many sports.

“But again, it’s about how we channel that emotion into accuracy and physicality. I think that’s the exciting part. I think we want to be known for winning, I think that’s the ultimate goal in sport. We need to be physical, we need to be accurate, and after that adaptable.”

Boss Jones wants a fast start from England, especially against his old Randwick team-mate and long-term coaching sparring partner Cheika. Win the collision and gainline battle early on, and England believe they have the tactical blueprint to pick the Pumas apart.

“The first 20 minutes will be big, and we have to set the tone,” said Curry. “We’ve got to show our passion and physicality, but we’ve got to be accurate and composed.

“In terms of structure and the ways we think we can get at them, we can kind of plan for that. But we have to set the tone physically around attack, defence and breakdown.”

Argentina are renowned for their passion and are now coached by motivator Michael Cheika (Getty Images)
Argentina are renowned for their passion and are now coached by motivator Michael Cheika (Getty Images)

Sale breakdown specialist Curry made his England breakthrough on the 2017 tour to Argentina, where the tourists were missing their British and Irish Lions contingent.

England pulled a 38-34 victory out of the first Test’s searing heat in San Juan, in a debut Curry admitted he will not quickly forget.

“It’s a vivid memory, Chris Robshaw had an ankle problem, Sam Underhill had a stomach bug and Ben (Curry) had a back problem,” said Tom Curry. “So there wasn’t much build-up, just ‘there you go, fly into it’.

“It was a boiling day, the crowd was crazy – and there was barbed wire on the fences. I remember thinking, ‘this is nuts’. The pace was unbelievable, I remember thinking this is a proper Test match, the physicality, speed and skill. It was a brilliant step-up and one I’ve loved to this day.”