Rugby

Jones: Youngs can become England's Du Preez

2016-11-15 08:00
Ben Youngs beats Eben Etzebeth... (Getty Images)

Twickenham - Ben Youngs has it in him to become as influential a scrumhalf for England as South Africa's Fourie du Preez was for the Springboks, according to Eddie Jones.

Youngs had one of his best Test match performances during England's 37-21 win over South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday, with the Leicester No 9 twice dummying giant Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit to set up two of the hosts' four tries for George Ford and Owen Farrell.

The sniping runs were reminiscent of du Preez, whose darting try sealed South Africa's World Cup quarter-final win over Wales at Twickenham last year, as was Youngs's tactical kicking.

Du Preez retired after the World Cup and Jones, who in overseeing the Red Rose's first win over the Springboks since 2006 extended his own perfect record as England coach to 10 victories from 10 matches, said of Youngs: "Ben has got an athletic advantage because he's a big lad for a half-back.

"He weighs 88 or 89 kilos, depending on how many lollies he has eaten!" joked Jones, who has sometimes referred to the scrumhalf's weight.

"He's got a nice turn of pace and a nice awareness of space. We want to develop that running game with him. He's got an exceptional kicking game."

The Australian, who guided Japan to a stunning win over South Africa at last year's World Cup, added: "The only other half-back I've seen with a kicking game like him is Fourie du Preez and Ben can have the same influence for us that Fourie du Preez had on the Springboks.

"We want to be the sort of team who can play completely off nine (scrumhalf), completely off 10 (flyhalf) or completely off 12 (inside

England, having won their last match of the World Cup against Uruguay under former coach Stuart Lancaster, will look to make it 12 victories in a row when they face Fiji at Twickenham this coming Saturday.

Jones said the way to beat Fiji - who won the men's gold medal at the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens tournament in Rio earlier this year - was to "bore them to death" and stop them playing their traditional free-running game.

"We just have to bore then to death. You go to Fiji and everyone is throwing 15-metre torpedo passes, flicking the ball through their legs, side stepping," said Jones.

"If they can't do that they get bored. If they get bored they don't want to play and when they do that you get points against them.

"We are going to win the game and I want to win it conclusively. To win it conclusively we have to bore them to death.

"It doesn't mean playing bad rugby, instead it means being smart against them."

England beat Fiji 35-11 in last year's World Cup opener but only had a narrow 18-11 lead heading into the final quarter at Twickenham.

"We spent Friday night watching Fiji. The last time England played Fiji at Twickenham it was a very inconclusive performance," Jones said.

"We want a conclusive performance on Saturday against them, then we'll worry about Argentina and Australia (England's final opponents of 2016)."

Jones added the fact England had scored four tries against the Springboks on a rain-freshened pitch was proof of their attacking threat in all conditions.

"The weather doesn't matter," Jones insisted. "My wife said to me that I always used to worry about the rain with other teams and now you don't.

"That's because it doesn't matter with this team - we are completely adaptable."

Read more on:    england in sa  |  ben youngs  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
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