In 2017 Tom Curry became the youngest forward to play for England in more than a century, less than two years on he came of age in the Guinness Six Nations.
The 20-year-old openside flanker started every game for England, playing 360 minutes in total as he helped them to second place in the table.
And his performances have earned him a place on the shortlist for the 2019 Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 18, 2019
He joins Welsh quartet Josh Adams, Alun Wyn Jones, Hadleigh Parkes and Liam Williams, as well as compatriot Jonny May on the six-man shortlist.
It is fitting reward for England’s standout forward, who finished with 97 tackles in total, the most of any player in the entire Championship.
He missed only eight over the course of the Guinness Six Nations, giving him a tackle completion percentage over 90 percent.
That was far from the only area in which he shone though. Curry finished the Championship with five breakdown steals, level with Peter O’Mahony for the most of any player.
However, you have to look beyond the stats to realise just how important Curry’s contribution was.
Curiously it was against Wales, in England’s only defeat, that he produced arguably his best performance.
His first-half display was simply sensational, causing havoc at the breakdown, scoring a try, and knocking down every Welsh carrier who came his way.
Had England maintained their lead in that game, there seems little doubt that Curry would have been named Guinness Six Nations Man of the Match.
England’s search for a solution at openside flanker would appear to be over based on these displays from Curry.
He finished the campaign with a second try, popping up at the right moment at the back of a maul to score England’s second try in the remarkable 38-38 draw against Scotland.
There is no question what Curry’s standout moment was, his first-half score against Wales at Principality Stadium.
Curry was already having a storming game, and it was his quick thinking that earned a first Test try.
After Courtney Lawes had knocked a ball out of a maul, England took advantage to attack down the right. A couple of phases later Curry was on hand for a first carry, making a couple of metres before presenting the ball for Ben Youngs. England switched play again, and after the next ruck Curry spotted his opposite man Justin Tipuric out of position on the fringes, picked and ran in from ten metres for the opening try.