THE father of England rugby union star and former Malpas school pupil Tom Curry says he hopes his son can book a ‘dream’ 50th cap in next week’s World Cup final.

David Curry, headteacher at Bishop Heber school in Chester Road, says he will be in Paris on Saturday to cheer on his son as he bids for a second straight final slot.

Tom will be in the starting XV to take on world champions South Africa – who beat England to win the tournament four years in Japan – and hopes that his son can help power the Red Rose to a final spot.

He said: “It would be unbelievable if he got to play a World Cup final on his 50th cap beating the world champions on your way to getting there.

“That would be the ‘pinch yourself’ moment – it’s a massive task but keep the faith.”

Mr Curry added that he thinks 2023 will be a much different prospect to 2019.


He added: “We’re all obviously hoping for a very different outcome this time but it also feels different because we were in Japan with a bit of a media blackout and we had no idea of the expectation.

“Whereas this time, we do. Tom’s mum and I are both teachers so we’ve been going across each weekend.

“Also, this time we’re seen as underdogs which personally I see as a positive and something Tom will relish, but I don’t think the set-up will be thinking it’s a wrong to put right.

“With Steve Borthwick in charge I’m sure he’ll have a few things up his sleeve that South Africa won’t have planned for but it’s going to have to be our best-ever game that we’ve played this year to knock them out as champions.

Whitchurch Herald:

“It’s a big ask but I spoke with Tom last night and they’re up for it.”

Tom’s tournament got off to the worst possible start when he was dismissed for head-to-head contact against fellow semi-finalist Argentina, missing the next two games.

And Mr Curry was full of praise for the way his son has bounced back.

He said: “We went to Marseille and he was on the pitch for two minutes but in hindsight, I’m so glad that as a family we were there for him.

“At the time he was devastated but because the team rallied around and beat Argentina comfortably, it took the sting out of it and we know over that weekend, there were a number of similar events that didn’t get penalised.

“Tom’s incident kind of set a benchmark – the laws don’t allow for intent to be a mitigating factor but I think that has changed since Tom’s red card.

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“He’s trained hard but the two games he missed were important to him because he hadn’t played much because of hamstring injuries.

“He was more upset that he couldn’t play his way into form and fitness but thankfully, he had 55 minutes against Samoa and he played 70 minutes against Fiji.

“The coaches have put a lot of faith in him by selecting him.”

England face South Africa at the Stade de France at 8pm on Saturday.