England rugby fans may think they’re seeing double this weekend, as Tom Curry’s twin brother Ben is heading out to Japan thanks to a social media campaign.
Ben Curry, who plays for Sale Sharks alongside Tom, is scheduled to play against Bristol on Friday, the evening before England’s Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.
However, Sale are now sending him out to Tokyo to watch the match after fans began a campaign on Twitter.
Sale Sharks are sending flanker Ben Curry to join his twin Tom in Japan thanks to Twitter
England’s Tom Curry will be preparing to take on South Africa in Saturday’s World Cup final
‘200 retweets and we’ll send Ben Curry to Japan. #GetBenToJapan,’ tweeted out the official Sale Sharks account early Monday morning.
It didn’t take long to get to that target, as by 11:30am, the results were in. ‘Looks like Ben Curry is off to Japan!’ Came the next tweet, which received universal praise, including from the official England rugby account, which replied: ‘Lovely gesture.’
After securing his spot on the plane, Ben told Sportsmail: ‘It is about going there to support Tom, we have been together all our lives and it would feel unnatural not be there to support him on one of his biggest days of his life
‘As a family we are massively proud of him.
‘I can’t state how appreciative I am towards Sale for letting me go, it shows what a family orientated club they are and I am hugely appreciative of everyone involved in helping me get to Japan.’
Some fans joked that all the retweets came from members of the Curry family, while others thought they may have come from Bristol fans hoping their opponents would be a man down for Friday.
Sale are actually guaranteed two World Cup winners, as flanker Tom Curry and Mark Wilson play for England, while scrum half Faf De Klerk and lock Lood de Jager play for South Africa.
Tom, the younger brother by 90 minutes, has earned rave reviews for a series of stunning displays as England topped their pool.
After he was named man of the match in the quarter-final victory over Australia, a video of Tom awkwardly accepting his prize went viral – and Ben took particular joy from the incident.
He said: ‘I replay that daily! That is my morning wake up, that gets me in a good mood. I showed as many people as I could. It could have happened to anyone, it is not his fault at all, but it couldn’t have happened to a better person. When I saw it I was so happy.’
Ben will join a sizeable crowd of supporters in Japan, with their parents, sister, a cousin, godparents and around half-a-dozen friends already there.
Ben added: ‘I was going to keep it a surprise but it would have been quite hard!
‘I had to tell him because we needed a ticket, we couldn’t get round the fact he needed an extra ticket. We tried saying it was for another family member but it just fell apart so I just had to say I was coming
‘There is no point rocking up all the way to Japan without a ticket.
‘We have got a lot of very good people around us, if it was me in that position it would be exactly the same.
‘We are massively appreciative of everyone supporting Tom back home.’
Ben Curry is also a flanker, but is yet to make his senior debut for the England team
The pair, both 21, share a house together in Manchester, but Ben admitted that spending nearly two months apart was a positive experience for both of them.
He added: ‘Its like an old married couple, when you have been in each others pockets your whole life, a couple of months apart is probably quite nice and get out of each others hair.
‘There are not many chances you get to be individual as an identical twin so it is a good chance for him to explore himself and for me to grow as an individual myself.’
Ben, who captained England to an Under-20s World Cup final defeat by France in 2018, had originally been picked to play for the senior side ahead of Tom against the Barbarians in 2017 but was forced to pull out with a back injury. Tom took his place, won match of the match from the bench and has not looked back.
On his own England dream, Ben said: ‘It is about improving everyday learning from Tom.
‘We are on our separate journeys, I want to play for England and that hasn’t changed. Obviously the dream outcome is to play together for our country one day.’
On the final itself, Ben was determined not to curse his countrymen
He said: ‘If they play like they did against New Zealand they will do well. It is about repeating that performance and going one better, but I don’t want to jinx it all!’
They head into the final against South Africa as favourites as they look to capture their second World Cup victory.