England rugby star Tom Curry says he has already put the heartache of a World Cup final defeat behind him and is now relishing the chance to earn honours with Sale Sharks this season.
Talking at a special Sale Sharks Business Club event at the Bentley Manchester dealership in Knutsford, the flanker was joined by South African World Cup winner Faf de Klerk and fellow England star Mark Wilson as the trio reflected on this year’s tournament.
Curry told an audience of more than 100 people how he felt “devastated” after England lost the final 12-32 to South Africa in Japan but had already “drawn a line under the World Cup final” and was now totally focused on getting back to club rugby.
He said: “Being in the England squad was an unbelievable experience and to play every minute is something I’m really proud of. But obviously to go so far and not end up winning was disappointing.
“Coming back home from Japan has been good though and playing against La Rochelle gave me the perfect way to start moving on from that game. I’m now totally focused on doing my best for the club and I’m excited to see where we can go this year.”
Wilson, who joined Sale on a season-long loan from Newcastle Falcons in the summer, added: “There was a real togetherness in the England squad and the coaching staff did a great job of making sure everyone was involved. The New Zealand game was definitely a highlight for us but it’s just a shame we couldn’t quite carry that into the final – we didn’t show what we can really do.”
Sitting alongside the England duo was de Klerk – who returned to the club last week and also played against La Rochelle – who talked about his experience in Japan and the positive impact he hopes winning the World Cup will have on his native South Africa.
He said: “The atmosphere during the games in Japan was amazing and I couldn’t believe how brilliant the fans were out there. It was incredible.
“When we took the World Cup trophy back home, we went on tour to celebrate with everyone in South Africa and I hope we have helped to inspire young people for the future. We wanted to give them hope and the confidence to achieve even more than we have. I think sport definitely has the power to do that.”
As part of the event, Sale Sharks unveiled a new commercial sponsor in specialist services provider, Kingdom Services Group, which also sponsored the event. Mark Cueto MBE, now the club’s Commercial Director, explained how the club’s work on the pitch was being reflected off it.
He said: “We’re really pleased that so many people joined us for our Business Club event. It was a great way for the audience to get a real insight into life at the highest level of international rugby.
“The lads were fantastic in sharing some interesting and amusing stories from their time in Japan but now that’s it’s all over, it’s great to have them back home at Sale and playing for the club again.
“Having four World Cup finalists in our squad when you include Lood de Jager just highlights what a great job Dimes (Steve Diamond) and the team have been doing with recruitment, with our owners Simon Orange and Ged Mason backing him all the way.
“Our commercial supporters are integral to everything we’re building at Sale Sharks so we’re always really grateful for their support. We’re very pleased to welcome Kingdom Group Services Group into the fold and want to thank Bentley Manchester for hosting us again this year.
“We organise these types of events to make sure all of our partners can enjoy being part of the Sharks family and we’re looking forward to plenty more as part of our Business Club throughout the season.”