England not believing the hype ahead of Wallabies clash
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: England scrumhalf Ben Youngs believes the team will have to rely on more than their recent record against Australia if they are to avoid a defeat by the Wallabies that will end their World Cup campaign.
The familiar foes meet in a quarterfinal in Oita on Saturday, in a rematch of last-eight clashes at the 1995 and 2007 World Cups – both won by England.
Meanwhile England coach Eddie Jones heads into this weekend’s clash eyeing a seventh straight win over his native Australia since taking over as Red Rose boss.
But Jones, also a former Japan coach, only got his present job after Australia knocked hosts England out of the 2015 World Cup in pool play with a convincing 33-13 success at Twickenham.
Now there are concerns that England may lack match sharpness after their final pool match in Japan against France was cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis.
But Youngs, a survivor from that chastening loss to Australia four years ago, was adamant England were not “undercooked” ahead of their latest clash with an unpredictable Australia side.
“That game in 2015 was one where they came up with a play we had never seen before – Bernard Foley comes around and plays it back inside to Kurtley Beale,” Youngs said.
“You think they are going to do one thing and they do something completely different.
“I like the way they play with their attacking mindset – and off the back of that you always get chances.”
Youngs added England had yet to deploy their full array of attacking moves because they hadn’t needed to “show our hand” against the likes of Tonga, the USA and Argentina.
But turning to the Australia match, he said: “We will make sure we are right and ready to go and have things we haven’t had to use yet.”
Youngs is just one of four players in England’s 31-man squad to have played in a World Cup quarterfinal – the 19-12 defeat by France eight years ago.
“I was thinking the other day about when we played France in the 2011 quarterfinals,” said Youngs. “At that stage they were deemed to be in turmoil.
“My experience is that you can’t read into what happens in the past, it’s just about that 80 minutes.
“Don’t believe your own hype as a side. We cannot rely on what has happened before, thinking that will be enough, because it won’t be.”