Get to know highly-rated Sale Sharks flankers – and identical twins – Ben and Tom Curry
Date of birth 15 June 1998 Country England
When did you get involved in rugby?
Tom: Aged four at London Grasshoppers.
Ben: Our dad coached us at our club and our uncle (John Olver) coached us at Oundle School.
Have you always played in the back row?
Ben: No. When we first started I was a scrum-half then a fly-half.
Tom: I was a centre throughout. When it moved to a five-man scrum I was a second-row. Ben only came into the forwards when it moved to an eight-man scrum in Year Eight.
Are you happy you ended up at flanker?
Tom: Our mum’s not, especially with the cauliflower ears! I really enjoy flanker, it’s the best…
Ben: …of both worlds.
Tom: You can mix in with the backs and get the physicality of the forwards.
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Did you play any other sports?
Ben: Football, cricket, athletics. I was indoor bowls singles and doubles champion at primary school.
Tom: On a Sunday we did rugby in the morning then we’d shoot off and do 90 minutes of football in the afternoon. Our legs would be screaming at the end of it!
Ben: We’d turn up at football with muddy knees and muddy elbows because we didn’t even have time to have a shower.
When did you link up with Sale?
Ben: At 14 – U15s. We played for Crewe & Nantwich and were picked up by Sale.
Have you always been competitive?
Tom: When we played garden cricket in the summer we got extremely competitive and knew how to wind each other up.
Ben: It’s harder now. With the bench press, he’s not near me at the moment.
Tom: And my legs and lower body are better.
Ben: We’ve grown up a bit.
Tom: We still compete about turnovers.
Do you think you have the same skill-set?
Tom: We’re pretty different. I usually pass before contact and he passes after contact. I go for a dominant tackle, he goes for a chop.
Ben: I go for more turnovers.
When did you first get England honours?
Tom: U16 – but Ben didn’t.
Ben: I was in the U16 second team.
Tom: We both went to South Africa with the U18s and played U20s this year. It’s a good step. It’s really nice going from Sale environment to 20s and changing it up, mixing with different players and coaches. It helps your all-round game.
Ben: It’s a different environment to here. Here the pressure is to win, with the 20s there is more freedom to play because you’re they’re to develop.
Tom: It’s nice to play with guys like Zach Mercer and Joe Cokanasiga – people who’ve played for their first team and come back to the 20s.
Ben: To hear what they have to say about their experiences.
How did you find out about your selection for the Argentina tour?
Tom: Half an hour before the squad was named we got a phone call from Sale’s media guy, asking for a quote.
Ben: I was in bed and didn’t know what to say.
What do you do in your spare time?
Tom: I’ve just taken up clay pigeon shooting.
Have you ever played against your cousin, Sam Olver?
Tom: Not yet, but it’s getting closer. It’s a massive family thing.
Ben: Our parents and grandparents are probably more excited about it than we are.
Have you got any hidden talents?
Ben: I used to be really good at table tennis.
Tom: I’m quite boring. Actually put worm charming.
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RW Verdict: Part of England’s U20 Six Nations Grand Slam-winning side, they went to Argentina with Eddie Jones’s senior squad after impressing for Sale and Tom made his Test debut in the opening win.
This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of Rugby World.