- Scrum half eager to improve on "tough day at the office" against Scotland
- We are going to have to defend very, very hard - Youngs
Ben Youngs is primed for the challenge of taking on France in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final and believes that a composed mindset will help him to perform at his very best.
The 22 year-old was also keen to stress that Les Bleus’ indifferent build up to the knockout stages, including an unprecedented loss to Tonga in their final Pool A match, will be completely irrelevant during the clash at Auckland’s Eden Park.
“France are a dangerous side and, without doubt, have some of the best players in the world,” he said. “We are going to have to defend very, very hard.
“We are also strong believers that they can pull anything out of the bag so we will give them the respect they are due.”
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In one of four changes made by Team Manager Martin Johnson, Toby Flood will start at inside centre and Youngs was positive that his Leicester Tigers teammate would offer a creative spark to England’s backline.
“I am excited to see Toby in there,” continued the scrum half, who will win his 17th cap tomorrow. “The selection is going to add to our attacking play and helps with the kicking game, too. He is a natural communicator and will make sure that the guys are getting into the right places on the field.
“Our distribution hasn’t been that good but now, hopefully we can release the backs and entertain some people.”
Finishing with a brutally honest assessment of his own display during last weekend’s stuttering victory over Scotland, Youngs gave a final glance towards the latest RWC instalment of Le Crunch.
“[The game against Scotland] was a tough day at the office for me,” he admitted. “I was probably the most nervous I have ever been and will be the first to say that it was the worst I have played for England.
“I am a bit relaxed now because we only have one shot. It is all or nothing, which makes things a little easier.”