Rugby player Ben Curry is rushing to Japan after a late call-up for the Rugby World Cup final — but he won’t be packing his boots.
Curry, of English Premiership side Sale Sharks, will be in the stands in Yokohama Saturday to watch his twin brother Tom play for England against South Africa following a social media campaign to give him time off.
Ben asked the club for permission to miss Friday’s game against Bristol Bears, and Sale tweeted it would send him to Japan if the post received 200 retweets. At the time of writing, it has 2,000.
“What would I remember when I’m 60, one game against Bristol or my twin playing in a World Cup final – and possibly winning it – with me in Japan,” the 21-year-old told BBC Sport.
“When you put it in those terms I thought I had to at least ask.”
Ben, who shares a house with Tom in England, will join his parents, older sister Charlotte and other friends who are already in Japan, according to the BBC.
He added on Twitter: “Thank you everyone involved in making this happen.
“Firstly Sale Sharks Rugby for their support and I want to express my gratitude towards Dimes (head coach Steve Diamond), Simon and Ged (club owners Simon Orange and Ged Mason)!
“Thank you to all the Sale fans who have been doing their part on social media! Rugby is more than a sport #GetBenToJapan”
Tom, who also plays for Sale Sharks, has been a leading light in England’s World Cup campaign and was named man of the match in his side’s quarterfinal victory against Australia.
He played a full 80 minutes last weekend as England defeated New Zealand 19-7, denying the All Blacks the chance to win a third consecutive title.
England takes on the Springboks, who narrowly defeated Wales in the semifinals, in a bid to win its second World Cup, while South Africa goes for a third.
The pair met in the 2007 World Cup final in Paris, with South Africa winning 15-6.
It was announced Tuesday that Jerome Garces would referee Saturday’s showpiece, becoming the first Frenchman to take charge of a Rugby World Cup final.
The tournament’s gold, silver and bronze medals — imprinted with Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji and cherry blossom flowers — have also been unveiled. New Zealand and Wales will compete for third place in Tokyo Friday.