ANALYSIS: Tom Curry will look to replicate David Pocock at no.8 for England

ANALYSIS: Tom Curry will look to replicate David Pocock at no.8 for England

Eddie Jones threw a surprise in selecting his first team since the Rugby World Cup Final against the Springboks with Tom Curry starting in no.8 jersey following Billy Vunipola's injury that has ultimately ruled him out of the competition.

England kick off their 2020 Six Nations against France on Sunday with George Furbank and Will Stuart in line to make their test debuts. 


However, the main talking point was the makeup of Jones' back row with Courtney Lawes joining the 'Kamikaze Kids' (Sam Underhill and Tom Curry).

In his latest Exclusive for Ultimate Rugby, Omar Mouneimne previewed what makes a great openside flanker and ahead of the clash with France, we have taken snippets from the piece, concentrating on Tom Curry in particular.


Lawes will be tasked with a lot of the ball carrying missing from England's starting line up with Vunipola injured. We are also likely to see Charlie Ewels and Manu Tuilagi carry a lot more.

The move from Jones to move Curry to no.8 is much like what Michael Cheika did with the Wallabies with Michael Hooper and David Pocock in his squad.


The Hooper-Pocock combination did Australia well in 2015 as they reached the Rugby World Cup Final and they were perfectly complemented by Scott Fardy, a player Australia hasn't quite replaced since.

Lawes could plug this gap with his work as blindside as too will Maro Itoje who gets through a lot of work around the park.

 
 
 
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Curry has a number of similarities in his game to the former Wallaby great David Pocock. One of his biggest attributes his physicality, particularly on defence, which will you see in the GIFS below.

He makes a good hit, chokes the ball carrier before taking the player to the ground. He has slowed the ball down and draws in three players into the ruck.

Off this lineout below. Curry flies out of the line with his brother and makes a dominant hit getting his shoulder stuck in and drives the ball carrier and stops the momentum of Exeter.

In the next clip, also against Exeter, Curry does the work of a typical openside flanker by having a sniff at the first breakdown but he realises that Exeter have already won the breakdown. 

He bounces out and goes to contest the next breakdown where slows the Exeter attack down and once again he draws in three defenders to the ruck.

Most of the flankers are used on kick chases as they want them to attack the breakdown and slow the ball down. 

Curry does this superbly, he is involved in the hit bounces up and contests over the ball, forcing Exeter to clean him out and secure the ball.

 Curry has all the tools for a great openside flanker. He hit you upstairs, he can chop you down and he can bounce in and out of breakdowns.

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