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Tom Curry has been pushing himself through a punishing training regime to ensure he is ready to face Samoa in England’s final World Cup group match.
Curry has played less than three minutes of the tournament in France after being sent off in the opener for a dangerous tackle against Argentina, resulting in a two-match suspension.
It continued his challenging start to the Steve Borthwick era, having missed the entire Six Nations and build-up campaign to the World Cup because of injury.
Now poised to make his comeback against Samoa on October 7, the squad’s most influential player in defence has been defying the instructions of England’s fitness guru Aled Walters to perfect his conditioning.
“Tom is a unique player in that I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone so fit, or so willing to work hard and put himself through pain,” scrum coach Tom Harrison said.
“He just seems to be able to enjoy it and keep going. There was a conditioning session the other day where he finished his reps and Aled Walters was shouting at him, ‘Get out, get out’. And he just carried on running.
“He just stayed in and carried on running. And when he did finally decide it was time for time for him to get out, he left the drill and Ellis Genge started hammering him for leaving the drill! And you just saw him getting so angry about it!
“He is in phenomenal shape. He has been brilliant. Unfortunately he was suspended, but he was brilliant by not going, ‘Oh I’m suspended for these two games’. Instead he went, ‘How can I help England win?’.
“And the work he was doing to help make training hard and difficult for the guys playing, and also the work he was doing with the back rows, to add his experience and his knowledge to our team meetings has been exceptional.”
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