Fitter Youngs relishing Wallabies challenge

Date published: June 6 2016

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England scrum-half Ben Youngs is keen to get stuck in to Australia after working on improving his fitness ahead of the upcoming three-Test series.

After England won clinched their first Grand Slam in 13 years, Youngs,along with the rest of his international team-mates, was told by their head coach, Eddie Jones, that they must improve their fitness levels ahead of the tour to Australia.

Young completed extra training sessions at Leicester Tigers on each Monday to make sure he was fit enough to implement the game-plan which Jones feels will help England beat Australia on their home soil.

One of his targets was to increase the number of metres he runs per minute in training. This will help him to execute attacking plans during the Test series without battling fatigue.

“I had normal training at the club on a Monday and then the England strength and conditioning coaches were in contact with Leicester and came up with a programme and you did your top-ups at the end of the training session,” Youngs told the Telegtraph

“Some Mondays I was slower to pick it up, depending on the fixture I came off the back of.

“What really impressed me during the Six Nations was that the training was short but how intense it was. They tell you what you need to do. For example, if you are running 50 metres, what your time needs to be. Then they increase it or add another rep in. They just add more to it.

“I do feel fitter and faster. What Eddie has brought in is being able to back up high intensity running. In some of the games during the Six Nations, we had more in the tank that the opposition did. We could sustain that [intensity] for longer. That is just through the training. Everyone felt better for it.

“The biggest thing they measure for the scrum-half is metres per minute, how many metres you can cover, so in the typical England training session you might be running 140 to 160 metres per minute.

“In a typical Test match you may be running 85 to 100 metres. So they are making training a lot harder than games, so when it comes to games, you should feel better. If you are fitter, your decision-making is actually better because you are not fatigued. It allows you to play a lot quicker and a higher tempo game and get to ruck to ruck quicker.

“At every ruck you have three options, run, pass or kick, and the longer the phases go, the harder it is to make those decisions and, if you do make those decisions, then trying to execute them properly. 

"That is why there has been a huge emphasis on fitness, because the southern hemisphere have always led that way because they always want to play attacking rugby and have had more in the tank. That is an area that Eddie wants to focus on to make sure we can play that style and in that way.”

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