Ben Youngs eager to prove his worth to England

 

Ben Youngs accepts that a frustrating loss of form has left him in danger of being dropped by England for the first time in his career.

The Leicester scrum-half has been England's first-choice since he exploded onto the Test scene with a try on his full debut against Australia in Sydney.

Five months later, Youngs launched an instinctive counter-attack from behind his own line that led to Chris Ashton's wonder-try against the Wallabies at Twickenham.

But Youngs, who was rushed back early from a knee injury to play at the World Cup, has lost that spark.

The 22-year-old has stopped playing on instinct and he turned in scratchy performances in England's wins against Scotland and Italy.

In contrast, Lee Dickson has made his mark off the bench in both matches and the Northampton scrum-half is under consideration for a first England start, against Wales on February 25.

"I probably play best when I play what I see and just go with it, and perhaps I haven't been doing that," Youngs said.

"I've been trying to force things and trying too hard when it's best for me to relax and just let the game flow.

"Hopefully my natural game will then take over.

"I've spoken to quite a few people, and I need to go back to doing what I do and not over-think things.

"I can only work hard and it's up to the coaches what they do. Whatever decision they make, I'll do what's best for the team and crack on."

Youngs snatched his jacket from a member of the England backroom staff when he was hauled off after 50 minutes against Italy, but he insists it was due to a frustration in his own performance.

"The match didn't go as well as I would have liked," he said.

"I was frustrated at myself. The game was breaking up, which is what I enjoy. I was annoyed that if I'd got things right in the first half that maybe it would have been different.

"But I didn't and it wasn't."

But Youngs is determined to respond to the adversity in a positive fashion, and to tackle the problem head on and get back to his electric best.

"You almost need these things to happen. You need to make mistakes to understand why it happens," he said.

"Nobody likes it but the truth is that it's going to happen and it's how you deal with that.

"I'm a big believer in learning from making mistakes. It is never nice doing it - but sometimes it's a wake-up call."

Youngs has talked things through with Toby Flood, his Leicester and England half-back partner, and a little with his father, Nick, who won six Test caps in 1983-84.

But he has also turned to DVDs of those performances against Australia as a confidence booster, a reminder of what he can achieve.

"Self-belief is the biggest thing. You need to reinforce the times it's gone well, realise it's not all doom and gloom," Youngs said.

PA

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices