England plans 'fast start' to end Bok drought

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:25
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Scrumhalf Ben Youngs says it is time for England to end a decade of despair against South Africa and earn their first win in 10 years.

Youngs, 27, has 61 England caps and has faced the Springboks five times.

While he expects another "tough and physical" encounter, he believes England do have the fire power.

"In the games I've played against South Africa the biggest thing I've learned is their physicality," Youngs said in an interview on the England website.

"That part of the game is going to be absolutely key.

"They have added to their game with three and four man line-outs as they look to mix it up but I think they'll go back to tradition and try and beat us up to a degree."

The Leicester Tigers scrumhalf added: "There is a big emphasis on our start, we are at home and haven't played for a while.

"We want to come firing out of the blocks, make sure we control the ball and defensively be physical in that area with two-man hits.

"There are different types of patterns and plays but ultimately the fundamentals of rugby are winning the gain line, getting good set piece ball, winning the collisions and that's what it comes down to.

"The weekend is going to come down to being physical with a real gain line focus and we've got to make sure from the start that we are able to dominate in that area."

Youngs also says the players have been inspired by Ireland's win against the All Blacks last Saturday - which ended an 111-year wait for victory against New Zealand.

"It just goes to show the gap [between Southern and Northern Hemisphere] is not as big as people think it is," he said.

"I think the biggest thing Ireland did was come out of the blocks quickly.

"They were really intense with their start and it was a good lesson for us watching about how important it is to get in the game during that first 20 minutes, to treasure the ball and not be loose with it."
 
Flyhalf George Ford says the side has already moved on from their success this year - a nine-match winning streak under Eddie Jones, which include a Six Nations Grand Slam and a three-nil series whitewash of Australia.

He added that there will be no complacency in the England camp.

Ford has urged the side to 'kick on' from those achievements as they prepare to face South Africa.

"We need to push on from where we've been in the past," said Ford.

"What's gone on previously has happened now and all we're focusing on is getting better and trying to better the performances of before.

"We're focusing on is getting better and trying to better the performances of before.

"That's how we are preparing this week. We know it's going to be a really tough game and that's reflected in the way we've trained and the focus of the lads. This weekend we've got to put our best performance in."

* Meanwhile England coach Eddie Jones has retained 25 players in the squad preparing for the Twickenham showdown.

Forwards Charlie Ewels (Bath), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) and Ben Morgan (Gloucester) return to their clubs.

As do backs Alex Goode (Saracens), Mike Haley (Sale Sharks), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath) and Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs).

Jones will name his side to face South Africa on Thursday.

England squad:

Forwards: Dave Attwood (Bath), Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Tommy Taylor (Wasps), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints).

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Jonny May (Gloucester), Ben Te'o (Worcester Warriors), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

Source: @EnglandRugby