Tokyo – They shoot everything that moves: the two young third line Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, nicknamed "kamikaze kids" by their coach Eddie Jones, have among their many common points the taste of the fight.
In the spirit of the communication service of the XV of the Rose, they are visibly inseparable since they presented themselves both, at the same table, in front of the press Thursday before the qualification against Australia (40-16) , synonymous with Saturday's World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in Yokohama (suburb of Tokyo).
Both wearing sandals from a famous German brand. They are also associated in the spirit of the facetious left pillar of the English selection Joe Marler, who has introduced a fine for a player at fault to invite them to lunch.
"Probably one of the worst fines that exists", smiles Curry.We are difficult to manage together. Sam is calmer than me, more relaxed. But otherwise, we're both pretty weird", adds Sale's player, whose obsession with cats makes him a little off the mark, for example.
He thus connected teammates to visit a cat island and a sanctuary dedicated to these felids in Miyazaki (south), at the beginning of the competition. He has been refused but does not despair of going to one of Japan's many cat bars.
The boy is also sleepwalking, which led him, during the preparation, to want to leave during his sleep his room. Lost, he only met the television of it.
– Spotted by Richard Hill –
Until proven otherwise, Underhill goes through less agitated nights. But the mimicry between the two players extends with their international debut on the occasion of the tour of June 2017 in Argentina in the absence of many players retained by the British and Irish Lions.
After being spotted, then teenagers, by the 2003 world champion Richard Hill, missioned by the Federation to find the third line of tomorrow.
"Having him as a mentor for all these years has been decisive for me and my brother (twin, Ben, who also plays Sale), as for many third line that are breaking. It's amazing, at age 15-16, to be accompanied by someone of this caliber", says Curry (21 years old, 17 sel.).
He and Underhill (23 years old, 13 caps), however, had to wait until August 24th and Ireland's prep match against Twickenham (57-15) to get together for the first time in the third row. , where they surround Billy Vunipola. The fault, undoubtedly, the operation of an ankle forced Bath's Underhill, to forfeit the 2019 Six Nations Tournament.
– "A thankless task"-
Since then, they are unstoppable and are a tandem of mad dogs ferocious tackling (36 together against Australia) and painful in the rucks, which rightly dominated on Saturday, the former master duo in the field.pooper", consisting of David Pocock and Michael Hooper.
They are also able to ensure the continuity of the game, as Curry has shown against the Wallabies by perfectly negotiating a two-on-one to open space to Jonny May on the first English try.
But they love the fight above all else. "You play rugby for its physical appearance", says Curry.It would be a bit incongruous to say that making a tackle is more fun than running with the ball, and I do not think we're starting to play rugby to tackle. But both are rather amusing", he adds.
For Underhill, "one of the most combative numbers 7"Jones has seen for a long time,"third line is a very physical position and not very glamorous either".
"It's rather a thankless task and you have to like doing that. If someone will score a nice test on the outside, it's often because another player has done a hard work, not necessarily very good looking, but that allows to create the necessary opportunities"They're doing this dirty job, well, for England."