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Six Nations: How is England’s Tom Curry fitting in at number eight?

Curry had never played as a first-team number eight for his club Sale before switching to the position for England
Guinness Six Nations: England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sunday 23 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Live on ITV.

The spotlight would perhaps be less stark on Tom Curry in another year. Or another team.

But the 21-year-old is taking his first steps as a number eight on the international stage having played a starring role at flanker in England’s run to the World Cup final.

England head coach Eddie Jones decided against bringing in a specialist number eight to replace injured talisman Billy Vunipola, putting his faith instead in Curry making a rapid transition.

“I don’t think it is a big change,” Curry told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I like to stay true to myself. Eddie’s been good, the coaches have been good, the players have been good, so I’m excited to learn.”

On Sunday, Curry faces arguably his biggest test yet when he comes up against an in-form Ireland side with CJ Stander, a British and Irish Lion in 2017, at the base of their scrum.

So what is Curry getting right and wrong in his new role?

Ball-carrying ballast

Curry, left, has stepped in after Vunipola (right) was ruled out for the duration of the tournament with a broken arm

The biggest difference between Curry and the man he is replacing – Vunipola – is the most obvious one.

Curry weighs in at 15 stone eight pounds according to England’s own stats.