Tom Curry, former Malpas schoolboy and England's man-of-the-match in their 40-16 Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Australia, has praised the role of the fans in their win.

Curry, whose father is headteacher at Bishop Heber School, in Chester Road, was one of many who put in a colossal performance as England booked a semi-final spot against favourites New Zealand.

And among those fans was his mum and he admitted that he was delighted to see her straight away after the victory.

"She's here, so I spoke to her face-to-face," he said.

"It's unbelievable, it feels like a home game.

"We're 10, 11 hours away from England and it feels like Twickenham, so it's unbelievable to be out there."

Curry and his partner-in-crime Sam Underhill were at the centre of a robust defensive performance that set the platform for England's regular scoring.

But the test given by Australia was one Curry fully expected and was delighted with how they combated it.

He added: "It was what we expected really – a tough physical encounter.

"You know the breakdown was massive.

"Our first half, we probably weren't 100 per cent but that's the exciting thing, we worked throughout and it just got better as the game went on, so exciting times to come.

"As team, we had a real buy-in.

"Obviously we knew their threats: (David) Pocock (AUS), (Michael) Hooper (AUS), and other forwards around breakdown and we had a good team buy-in throughout the week, worked, and it showed today."

England face the juggernaut of New Zealand on Saturday, kicking off at 9am, after the All Blacks swept Ireland aside 46-14, with the contest all-but-over by half-time.

Wales will face Japan or South Africa in the other semi-final after beating 14-man France 20-19 on Sunday.