England’s hopes of turning around their series against Australia have been dealt a blow after Tom Curry was ruled out of the rest of the tour with concussion.
Curry appeared to sustain a blow to the head early in the first Test and was replaced at half-time during the 30-28 defeat in Perth. The openside flanker travelled to Brisbane with the squad but England have announced that “in the interests of player welfare and recovery he will take no further part in the tour” and will return home.
His absence will be keenly felt by Jones’s side, given he is a key part of the leadership group and an integral part of their back row. England struggled without him in the second half as Australia turned the screw despite Darcy Swain’s red card shortly before the interval. Jones has not yet summoned a replacement and his options for the second Test here on Saturday include Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Jack Willis.
It is understood that Curry met World Rugby’s updated criteria for a 12-day stand-down following a concussion, – introduced at the start of the month – having sustained a third in the past six months. As a result the 24-year-old flanker, who also went off at half-time with a head injury during the Six Nations victory against Wales in February, has been ruled out of the remaining two Tests in the series.
“Tom Curry has withdrawn from the England squad currently on tour in Australia due to concussion sustained in Saturday’s match in Perth,” read an England statement.
“It has been agreed that in the interest of player welfare and recovery he will take no further part in the tour and return home for continuing assessment and ongoing management. He has travelled to Brisbane with the squad and will fly to England later this week.”