England v South Africa: Sale Sharks send Tom Curry's twin Ben to Japan

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Tom and Ben Curry
Ben Curry (right) and twin brother Tom celebrate a try for Sale Sharks
Rugby World Cup final: England v South Africa
Venue: Yokohama International Stadium Date: Saturday, 2 November Kick-off: 09:00 GMT
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Sale Sharks flanker Ben Curry says not asking if he could miss a Premiership match to fly out and watch identical twin brother Tom play for England in Saturday's World Cup final would have been "the biggest regret" of his life.

Eddie Jones' side face South Africa in Yokohama, a day after Ben was set to play for Sale against Bristol.

"What would I remember when I'm 60, one game against Bristol or my twin playing in a World Cup final - and possibly winning it - with me in Japan," the 21-year-old told BBC Sport.

"When you put it in those terms I thought I had to at least ask."

After a social media campaign #GetBenToJapan gathered momentum, Ben approached Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond for permission and the club agreed to give him a few days off to fly out.

Sale said it was a "once in a lifetime experience" for Ben, who will leave Manchester for Japan on Tuesday morning.

His parents are already out there having arrived for the quarter-finals, with older sister Charlotte - as well as godparents and "six or eight" mates - also set to cheer Tom on from the stands.

Ben said he did not think a week ago he would be able to watch the biggest moment of his twin's career and was "shaking on the phone" when he spoke to Diamond.

"At first I felt really guilty about even thinking of going because we had the game against Bristol," said Ben, who shares a house with Tom.

"Then I had a conversation with my parents and thought it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is bigger than rugby.

"I felt I would regret not going more than I would regret the guilt of going so I thought I had to ask Steve.

"I was so nervous, and I explained the situation, how I was feeling and that I would completely understand if he didn't want me to go because we had a game and that's my job.

"He said 'go for it, pal'. Within half an hour I had my flights booked.

"It's testament to the club for being so accommodating and it shows how family orientated it is. I'm extremely grateful."

Ben, who will have his match ticket paid by Tom because of a "family rule", says watching his brother and team-mate play in a World Cup final is the "next best thing" to being on the pitch himself.

Ben has been capped for England at Under-20 level and was called up to the senior squad for the tour to Argentina in 2017, but did not make an appearance.

"I'll be very nervous watching because it is my twin brother going through one of the biggest days of his life," Ben said.

"I'm going as a family member, an England rugby fan and a professional rugby player. Any English rugby player who is not in Japan wants to be in Japan right now.

"I get to be part of a player's journey and a player who is doing extremely well - and he's my twin brother."

North West Tonight met the identical twin brothers in 2017 after they had first broken into the Premiership side.

Sale Sharks: Meet identical twins Ben and Tom Curry

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