Tom Curry could make long-awaited return if Sale reach Premiership play-offs

England’s Tom Curry could make his comeback from major hip surgery this season if Sale Sharks reach the Gallagher Premiership play-offs.

The Sale flanker has not played since England’s World Cup bronze medal victory over Argentina more than six months ago.

Curry underwent surgery to address arthritic change and tears to the labrum and cartilage, and he will not be involved against Saracens on Saturday.

Tom Curry
Sale flanker Tom Curry has not played since the World Cup (David Davies/PA)

“He is not far off, but unfortunately he hasn’t made it (for Saturday),” Sale rugby director Alex Sanderson said.

“We haven’t done enough rugby exposure with him for him to feel confident.

“But he is moving incredibly well and he is having a pre-season-style week. He is getting rinsed, and that is what he wanted.

“We will make a call if and when we give ourselves an opportunity to play a semi-final.”

Sale, beaten by Saracens in last season’s Premiership final at Twickenham, currently hold the fourth and final play-off position.

They have won their last four league games heading into the regular season’s final day, yet any slip-up against the six-time Premiership champions is likely to prove costly.

Fifth-placed Exeter visit Leicester, while two other play-off contenders – Harlequins and Bristol – meet at the Twickenham Stoop.

Should Sale lose, then an Exeter bonus-point win would see them seal a play-off spot, but the Chiefs know that Quins and Bristol are hovering.

Sanderson had a long career at Saracens as player and then coach, and he added: “They have the ability to win a game in a variety of different ways.

Alex Sanderson
Alex Sanderson is fully aware of Saracens’ threat (Richard Sellers/PA)

“They are a smart team and they are able to change and shift the game-plan to find a way to be competitive – and then ultimately dominant – if you don’t shift and respond in kind.

“Our ability to respond on things we haven’t foreseen that might not go our way – and respond with a clarity and calmness of decision-making, aligned with a ruthless physicality – will give us the best chance of getting through to the semi-finals.”

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