Six Nations 2011: Ben Youngs wary of ‘dangerous’ Scotland
England scrum-half warns against complacency ahead of Six Nations showdown with Scotland
England scrum-half Ben Youngs is certain his side will not take Scotland lightly despite being just two wins away from a first Grand Slam since 2003.
Youngs, 21, has grown into the number nine shirt of late and has been instrumental in England’s recent successes, but he is well aware that defeat to Scotland on Sunday would ruin that progress.
“A Slam is in sight but at the same time Scotland lie ahead of us,” said Youngs. “We are playing very well, we are in a good position but we know what challenges lie ahead.
“They [Scotland] are very dangerous, they beat South Africa in the autumn and we got beaten by them.
“We have enough talent to overcome the obstacles ahead of us; it’s about performing at the weekend and having the right attitude towards the game.”
Youngs recognises the importance of Sunday’s fixture and is convinced it will be an entertaining spectacle.
“Every game in the Six Nations is very tough and Scotland versus England and the rivalry and everything that comes with it brings a bit of spice, and it should be great to watch and to play in it is a great honour and it is the sort of game you want to play in.”
Youngs also admitted his frustration at his own performance against France, where despite England’s victory, he felt he had underachieved.
“You have to keep working hard as an individual and there are areas I need to work on and keep improving and that’s the main thing,” he added.
“Chris [Ashton] scored four tries against Italy and there are things he was not happy with, and the things about this squad is everyone is moving in the right direction and everyone is putting the effort in to make sure we keep moving forward and keep up our momentum.”
The last time England won a Grand Slam they went on to win the World Cup in the same year.
And while many fans are already looking ahead to New Zealand this September, Youngs knows that the Six Nations is only the first step on a long road that ends in Auckland on 23 October.
He added: “We haven’t spoken about the World Cup, but if we manage to achieve our goal of a Grand Slam it will give us momentum towards the World Cup.
“But there is a long way to go between then and now and hopefully we can put in a good performance and get past Scotland.”