Tom Curry’s first club have expressed their pride in the England flanker following his appearance in the World Cup final.
Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, the club Curry and his twin brother Ben were at from the age of four to 16 before joining Sale Sharks’ academy, hosted a screening of the final on Saturday.
A crowd of over 150, some of whom wore Tom Curry masks, were at the clubhouse watching as England fell short of securing the Webb Ellis Trophy in Yokohama, losing 32-12 to South Africa.
While there was disappointment at the result, club vice chair Andy Pemberton said he was “very proud” of the 21-year-old, a nominee for World Rugby’s player of the year award.
Pemberton – who did some coaching with the twins during their time at Crewe & Nantwich and played for the club alongside their father David – told the PA news agency: “You watch the national anthem and I always look for who is singing it. Tom’s head was straight back and it was at the top of his voice. Very proud of the boy.
“He is a young lad, he’s 21. I don’t think anybody would have envisaged his impact. You look at his work ethic, his technique, and that is what makes him stand out from any other natural back-row player.
Scene at the final whistle pic.twitter.com/YKXZyTkxOm
— Phil Medlicott (@pgmedlicott) November 2, 2019
“Continue with the England team, flourish with Sale, the British and Irish Lions – the world is his oyster.”
Curry has been back to the club on a number of occasions since leaving, including in spring this year when he and Ben were supporting a fundraising event for mental health charity Mind, donating a collection of their old shirts to be auctioned off.
And Pemberton said: “I think he’ll come back to the UK, have some dinner with his mum and dad and then he’ll come down the club, because everyone down here is bursting to see him, to pat him on the back and shake his hand and say well done because his performance throughout the World Cup has been fantastic.”
When asked about Curry being an inspiration, Pemberton said: “The first time he touched the ball, the first time he tackled, the whole room lifted up.
“’Go on Tom!’ – that was the cry. You could see it.”
Club president David Potts, who has been a member since 1963, said: “Very disappointed, but Tom had a great game I thought.
“He has had a great game all the competition and we’re proud that him and his brother have played at the club.”