Six Nations: Ben Youngs promises England will not take Italy lightly
England are on course for the Grand Slam
Ben Youngs promises England will not take victory against Italy for granted as they look to keep their Grand Slam dreams alive.
Having impressively overcome Scotland, Ireland and France, Stuart Lancaster's side are on course for a 13th Grand Slam crown.
The trip to Wales on the final day looks set to be the main stumbling block, with England expected to roll over Italy when they come to Twickenham on March 10.
One bookmaker has the Italians as far out as 43/1 to win, although last year's Six Nations clash highlighted the problems the Azzurri can cause.
Leicester scrum-half Youngs started that game in Rome, where England had to come from nine points behind before securing a 19-15 victory.
"There is France and their other biggest game is England," he said of the Italians. "They would like nothing better than to come and ruin the party at Twickenham. I know what they will be saying in their camp.
"It is another challenge and everything seems to be new this season in terms of us lot learning. Now the expectation is on us and it has not been since this group got together.
"I definitely think we have got the right people around us and the right squad to be able to deal with that expectation and make sure we approach it like any other game.
"Everyone is realising this is where we want to be heading in terms of standards.
"(The World Cup in) 2015 is the goal and this is where we need to go and where we need to be, and either you work hard and we are all in it together or you get left behind."
One of the most noticeable improvements has been England's ability to push on in the final quarter.
Asked if he thinks England are the fittest squad in the championship, Youngs said: "Yeah, I do.
"You can feel the momentum of a game. That is why we look to play a high-tempo game, we feel a lot of teams will blow out and we can push on in the last 15 to 20 minutes.
"Psychologically, when you see a team fatigued, hunched over, it is a huge emotional boost, knowing how you are also feeling.
"As a squad we have said no matter how tired you are, you don't show it. It does have a knock-on effect within your side and also for the opposition."
:: Ben Youngs was speaking on behalf of the England team at an event for QBE, the business insurance specialist and Official Insurance Partner of England Rugby. For exclusive videos from this event visit http://www.qberugby.com
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Match reports from every Premier League game: Heartbreak for Tottenham as Arsenal clinch fourth place
Arsène Wenger: 'We need stability and to strengthen in the summer'
Rafael Nadal is the Master again in Rome – like a Ferrari to Roger Federer's Fiat
Sam Wallace: The second coming of Mourinho will be a reunion that can only end in tears
James Lawton: For all Arsenal's dreams and prettiness there must be nagging sense of futility
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.