Tom Curry became the youngest Sharks player to make his debut in Europe’s elite competition during Saturday’s loss at Scarlets.
The 18-year-old replaced David Seymour in the 65th minute at Parc y Scarlets, and in doing so became the fourth youngest Englishman to play in the Champions Cup.
“It was a weird experience, but I didn’t realise it until my Dad mentioned it after the game,” Curry explained.
The young flanker revealed that leading up to the game, his inclusion in the match day squad was sprung upon him by Steve Diamond.
“Dimes just told me to play my normal game and get in to the positions we’d been working on. I was just told to get on with the job, and do it well.
“I didn’t expect it, but it definitely helped that it wasn’t made in to a big deal. Everyone was really calm and I just slotted it. When it’s not a big deal it means you can just relax and focus on what it is you’re there to do.”
When Curry replaced Seymour late in the game, he joined Paolo Odogwu on the field who had also trained with the Jets side in pre-season.
“I’ve watched Paolo playing for the first team and it’s made me realise I can actually do it, so when I came on it wasn’t a surreal moment.
“But senior players like Magnus Lund and Neil Briggs really helped too, offering me the benefit of their experience in the game. Dan Braid was really helpful leading up to the game too.”
Shortly before making his debut, it was also announced that Curry would be part on the England U20s elite player squad, and he explained that playing for his country will help to develop him as a player.
“It’s always nice to play with different players and different structures because it helps develop your game.
“You learn new things from other players from outside your club, and the different coaches like Richard Hill and Martin Haag have some really good input.
Curry will be joined by fellow Sharks players Odogwu and Curtis Langdon in the England U20s squad, as well as his identical twin brother Ben.
But after making his senior team debut before his brother, who also plays in the back row, Tom ensured that Ben was full of support for him.
“He just said well done and wished me the best. There might be some jealousy there but he’s not mentioned it,” he joked.”
But he’s doing really well too. He’s doing his own stuff and working hard, so it’s all good.”