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Owen Farrell furious at Curry abuse as England skipper speaks out at World Cup

Borthwick backs Curry after racial slur controversy calling it a ‘World Rugby matter’

England captain Owen Farrell has launched a passionate defence of his Rugby World Cup team-mate Tom Curry as the flanker has been subjected to swathes of online abuse.

World Rugby have opened an investigation into Bongi Mbonambi’s alleged racial slur during South Africa’s semi-final win over England.


Mbonami has been informed that he will be able to play in Saturday’s final against New Zealand, while Curry has been the victim of immense backlash on social media which his club Sale have condemned as “disgusting”.

Curry has been kept in the team to face Argentina in the third-place play-off, perhaps in part to redeem himself after getting sent off inside the opening few minutes of their pool stage match against the Pumas. Farrell will play alongside Curry, and has hit out at online trolls that have targeted his team-mate in the build-up to the bronze medal game.

“What isn’t understandable is the amount of abuse he has got,” Farrell said. “The effect the abuse has – not just on him – is what I and we really don’t understand. You are dealing with a human being, just because you are saying stuff on your phone or behind a screen doesn’t make it acceptable.

Owen Farrell supported his England team-mate Tom Curry.

“I hope he knows that everyone close to him supports him and backs him all the way. I am sure he does. The people close to him, I hope they know he is being supported really well.”

Farrell has similarly faced abuse before and during the World Cup, having been booed by his own set of supporters before England’s quarter-final win over Fiji.

He was seen as public enemy number one due to his red card against Wales in August, which ensured he would be suspended for the opening two matches of the tournament in France.

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