Tom Curry already looking ahead after Land Rover Discovery of the Season nomination
This season Tom Curry has established himself as England’s present and future openside flanker, all but sewn up a World Cup place and been nominated for Land Rover Discovery of the Season for his performances with Sale Sharks.
In what has been an up and down season for the Manchester side, who flirted with the top four after they looked in danger of being dragged into a relegation dogfight, Curry’s emergence has been one of the brightest sparks at the AJ Bell.
Victories at home to Saracens and away to Gloucester underlined Sale’s ability to challenge the best on their day as they wait to learn whether a seventh-place finish in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby standings will be enough to qualify them for next season’s Champions Cup.
Curry admits, therefore, that Sale will have to become more consistent next year, and their cause should be aided by the arrival of a trio of South African brothers, back-row twins Jean-Luc and Dan du Preez as well as older brother and fly-half Robert.
Jean-Luc and Robert both spent time with the Sharks this season, and Curry believes their arrival can only drive standards up.
“A lot of people are doing well this season which is good,” he said.
“Then we’ve got signings coming into complement the squad which is hugely encouraging, especially in terms of competition for places so the club is moving forward.
“Jean-Luc has been involved in the international set-up so having that sort of knowledge around was really good.
“Whenever you get such high standards of player, it drives training up and the standard of performance up as well, so it’s nothing but good for the club and the players here.”
For Curry, this campaign has been a landmark one, after he forced his way into the England set-up and starred during the Six Nations.
So impressive was the 20-year-old that he was nominated for the Player of the Championship award, and the confidence gleaned has left him feeling good ahead of a World Cup in Japan.
He added: “You never expect to play for England, particularly with the competition around. It’s about trying to get better week in, week out.
“I was happy, and I think I learned a lot during the Six Nations. I can take that forward and keep getting better.
“Playing five games on the bounce almost at such a physical level, it gave me a lot of confidence in my body that I could do that. Being able to not fade away and being able to train at such level for that amount of time, it just gives you a lot of confidence really.”