Rugby World Cup 2015: England star calm ahead of Wales clash
Tom Youngs previews England's second World Cup game against Wales on Saturday
The England scrum has been much-maligned in the aftermath of Friday night’s victory over Fiji but hooker Tom Youngs is adamant there is nothing to panic about as they build towards Saturday’s crunch clash with Wales.
England opened up their 2015 Rugby World Cup with a 35-11 win against Fiji as Billy Vunipola’s last-gasp score also sealed a four-try bonus point.
But it wasn’t all positive as the Red Rose lost three scrums against the head despite the lack of star names in the Pacific Islanders’ front-row.
Such mistakes are likely to be punished at Twickenham on Saturday by a Wales side that also began their World Cup campaign with a five-point triumph, seeing off minnows Uruguay 54-9.
There are only two quarter-final spots on offer in Pool A – with Australia also in the running – but Leicester Tigers man Youngs is confident he and the rest of the England forwards will thrive despite the high stakes.
“I think we’ve got a few bits to touch up on in terms of the set-piece but when we got it right against Fiji, we got some good penalties although when we got it slightly wrong we weren’t quite on it,” said Youngs.
“There are little things which we’ll be touching up and hopefully we can correct them in time for the big game on Saturday.
“The scrum isn’t a massive concern because we know we can do it and we’ve shown that in parts. It’s about delivering that every time.
“There are a few technical points here and there but we’re happy and ready for a massive challenge against Wales. We’re a very good pack and we’ve proved that in the past.
“I thought the line-outs went well and I thought we drove well off it especially. I think they are coming along nicely, we’re getting a good unit there and getting used to each other.”
Wales have pack concerns of their own as Gethin Jenkins and Tomas Francis are their only fully-fit props – Samson Lee, Paul James and Aaron Jarvis all struggling with knocks.
When the sides last met – in the Six Nations back in February – England emerged as narrow 21-16 winners and an equally tight affair seems likely this weekend.
A partisan Twickenham crowd helped roar the Red Rose on to victory against Fiji and Norwich-born Youngs is anticipating an even more memorable occasion with Wales in town.
“The atmosphere for the Fiji game was unbelievable – as soon as we pulled up on the coach, everyone was there,” added the 28-year-old.
“The stadium was packed full even for our warm-up and that was great to see. It was electric out there on Friday and I’m sure it will be even more electric this weekend.
“The crowd pick you off the ground and spur you on a little bit more. It’s why you play the game and the buzz you get from it when you run out, it’s brilliant.
“There will be plenty of Welsh coming up to watch it as well which will make it a really cracking occasion.”
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