Welsh rugby giant’s model justifies Gatland’s surprise decision after three years of hype


About three years after his quick haul to Wells’ set, Rhys Curry is now paying off the faith he’s shown. That’s the verdict of Cardiff boss Dae Young, who feels his 6-foot-3, 20-pound brace size sets him apart from the crowd.

It was in April 2019 Carr was included in Warren Gatland’s World Cup coaching staff After a few regional trips. On his first Test appearance against Ireland in August of that year, he ended up going to Japan and playing in five matches during the World Championship, before linking up with European champions Saracens in a high-profile move.

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He has remained a fixture in the Welsh side, taking his tally to 16 matches amid a return to Arms Park. But he didn’t appear at all during this season’s Six Nations Championship, as Osprey Gareth Thomas jumped over him in the tap arrangement to share his duties with Wayne Jones.

To his credit, however, Curry’s response to this cut has been pretty impressive. Over the past month he’s been one of Wales’ standout players, the ball carrying the power that initially marked him as a seed talent that really came out on top, backed by some silky unloading skills, while his combing was also eye catching. He’s playing the best rugby in his young life now.

All this means is that the 24-year-old is firmly back in the frame to earn a start on Wales’ summer tour of South Africa, especially with injury doubts due to Wayne Jones’ post-knee surgery. Cardiff rugby club manager Young knows a thing or two about the support, so he is in a good position to give an insider on Curry’s recent comeback.

“To be fair with him, he has worked really hard on his conditioning and in parts of his game,” said the former tighthead Lyons. “I felt like he was starting to show glimpses before he went to the Six Nations. He obviously didn’t get any time to play there, which is what happens. It’s not criticism, that’s what really happened.

“In an ideal world, continuing to play might have been the best thing for Reese at the time. But, at the end of the day, no one would turn down a chance to be part of the Welsh group. But when he came back here, he was really keen on playing the games. He’s got So now I think it’s starting to return some of the faith a lot of people have and I think there’s more to come.

“In Wales we talk about not having big guys, but he’s a real huge guy. He obviously needs to be well conditioned to be able to take that weight and be effective and I think he’s starting to show he can do that. I thought he checked out really well against Thomas Francis. In an Ospreys game he’s one of the best players in. Rhys is progressing and showing maturity in his preparations both on and off the field, so I’m really happy with his development.”

Cowbridge producer Carre, who signed a contract extension earlier this year, will make his sixth start since the Six Nations and his fourth in the trotting when he faces the Dragon at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

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