England coach Shaun Wane was full of praise for Ben Currie after the back-rower rolled back the years with big display in the centres in their win over Tonga.
Currie made his first international appearance in two years in England’s 26-4 win over Tonga on Saturday, helping his country seal a 3-0 series whitewash.
The 29-year-old usually plays in the back-row at club level for Warrington Wolves – but he’s no stranger to the centre position having featured there earlier in his career.
Currie got on the scoresheet in England’s win at Headingley and had a hand in several more, earning praise from his coach after the game.
“I thought Ben Currie was fantastic,” Wane said in his post-match press conference.
“When you think he’s an out and out back-rower and to fit in there and do the things he did showed the talent he’s got.
“It’s not perfect asking a player to play out of position – I know he’s played there in the past – but to do that in an important test match, he’s just a talented kid is Ben.”
Ben Currie feeling the love from Shaun Wane in glorious return to the England fold
In an exclusive interview with Love Rugby League after the game, Currie said he was over the moon to return international action with England.
“I expected there was a chance of it and then obviously with Toby’s (King) injury that kind of cemented it,” Currie said of his return.
“I was a little bit nervous going into it, it’s been a while (since playing in the centres), but I really enjoyed it.
“With the standard of players England have got it just makes your job 10 times easier out there. The big guys do all the hard work and make it easy for you on the edge.”
Currie was feeling the love from Wane, receiving a warm congratulations from his coach in the changing rooms after the full-time hooter.
“He gave me a big cuddle actually!” Currie laughed.
“Waney is usually a handshake man, but when you play for England I think you earn a big hug from him.
“He came over to me congratulating me and said well done on the game, he thought I was really good so I’m really happy to repay him with the faith he put in me in the centres.”
‘I’m a kid who loves to play rugby league’
Currie, who played his junior rugby at his local club Golborne Parkside, says he is happy to play wherever needed on the international stage as well as club level.
“I’m a kid who loves to play rugby league, so obviously for England you’ll play wherever you’re told so I’m more than happy and club level is the same,” Currie added.
“You just want to play rugby, whether it’s centre, back-row or loose forward – I’ll play wherever is needed and I’ll do the job hopefully.”