England’s hopes of levelling their series against Australia have suffered a blow after Tom Curry was ruled out of the last two Tests because of concussion.

Curry is to return home with the head injury sustained in the first half of Saturday’s 30-28 defeat in Perth and will face “continuing assessment and ongoing management”.

The Sale flanker was stood down after an HIA and the Rugby Football Union says that the decision to withdraw him from the tour is in the “interest of player welfare and recovery”.

Curry’s head whipped backwards while tackling Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi in the 14th minute and despite the heavy blow, he completed the half.

It was when the 2019 world player of the year nominee presented with concussion symptoms at the interval that he was sent for an HIA and failed to appear for the second half.

No decision has yet been made on whether he will be replaced in the 36-man touring party.

Under new guidelines, players with a history of concussion or who are removed from a match with obvious concussion symptoms face a minimum mandatory stand down period of 12 days.

Lewis Ludlam was a powerful replacement for Tom Curry in the first TestLewis Ludlam was a powerful replacement for Tom Curry in the first Test (David Davies/PA)

Curry fits the second of these criteria meaning he would have missed at least the second Test, which takes place in Brisbane on Saturday.

He was withdrawn from half-time of the 23-19 victory over Wales on February 26 due to concussion but was cleared to face Ireland a fortnight later before being ruled out against France because of a hamstring issue.

Lewis Ludlam made an impact as Curry’s replacement at Optus Stadium and is the leading contender to replace him, while Sam Underhill and Jack Willis are also options at openside.