Youngs upbeat after Thorn’s advice

Date published: March 9 2015

England scrum-half Ben Youngs is looking at the bigger picture ahead of this weekend's Six Nations clash with Scotland.

Any hope of a Grand Slam is gone for another year, the 12th in succession for England, after their crucial loss in Dublin to Ireland.

Youngs sought the advice of his Leicester Tigers colleague and World Cup winning lock Brad Thorn, who pointed out a bit of history in the run-up to the last Rugby World Cup.

"I spoke to Brad Thorn and New Zealand lost to Australia in the Tri Nations in 2011, but no-one remembers that," Youngs told the Press Association.

"He told me not to beat myself up too much. You haven't won the Grand Slam but the title is still up for grabs. He had been there in 2011.

"We are disappointed not to get the result but we will be delighted if we were to win the championship because it is a very hard thing to win. It is really important (to finish the Six Nations strongly). And it is not too dissimilar to how it was coming into Samoa and Australia after losing our first two games in November.

"Winning those two games gave us a lift, so that meant we were in a really good head space at the start of the Six Nations."

Youngs insists that the championship is not over, with England needing Ireland to slip up but also in a good position with two home games to play as winless Scotland and struggling France come to Twickenham.

"We need to get the result now, as well as the performance, get back to the levels of the second-half in Wales," added Youngs.

"That means playing on the front foot, playing English rugby, being powerful, getting over the top of teams, being good at the breakdown, beating teams round the corner and being really direct.

"We have got to make sure we finish like that and give ourselves a real good platform going into our summer camp.

"It is a blow (losing to Ireland). You win that game and you've got two games at home. You've got real good momentum and your confidence is great.

"It's a real dampener when it doesn't work out but it's a good test of character to see how you react to it. We can go either one way or the other. The way we've got to continue to see it is that we're still very much in this championship.

"Chris (Robshaw) spoke really well after the game. He said the championship's not over, that last year it came down to points and to make sure we get our game plan sorted."