England’s hopes of turning their series against Australia around have been dealt a major blow after Tom Curry was ruled out of the rest of the tour with concussion.
Curry appeared to suffer 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 has travelled to Brisbane with the rest of 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 soon 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 losing Darcy Swain to a red card shortly before the interval. Jones has not yet summoned a replacement but could still do so while his options for Saturday’s second Test in Brisbane include Lewis Ludlam, Sam Underhill and Jack Willis.
It is unclear whether Curry met World Rugby’s updated criteria for a 12-day stand-down following a concussion – introduced at the start of the month – but the decision has been made to rule the 24-year-old, who also went off at half-time with a head injury during the Six Nations victory over Wales in February, out of the last two Tests.
“Tom Curry has withdrawn from the England squad currently on tour in Australia due to concussion sustained in Saturday’s match in Perth,” read an England statement.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.”