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By Tom Fordyce
Chief sports author in Miyazaki
England scrum-half Ben Youngs says he wants something in his third World Cup following the disappointments of 2011 and 2015.
Youngs is one of four survivors, along with middle Manu Tuilagi and forwards Dan Cole and Courtney Lawes, in the group that went to New Zealand eight years ago.
Off-field controversies beset england as they went out at the quarter-finals at 2011, and then failed to get out of the group phases.
Youngs stated:”Neither of them was the result I wanted.
“I think anyone would like to return at the conclusion of the career and feel proud of success – along with the World Cup is always the pinnacle.
“This chance here with this aspect is possibly the best shot I have of being in a position to return at a period of my career and say, yeahthat was something really unique.”
Youngs was 22 when he made his World Cup debut in New Zealand scoring the try in Dunedin as England squeezed in their first group game past Argentina.
But they struggled from there on, an infamous team night out in Queenstown creating Tuilagi after jumping off a ferry, being fined and a storm into Auckland harbour.
Their defeat with a France team which had lost to underdogs Tonga led to the resignation of head coach Martin Johnson and three different reports to what had gone wrong at exactly what the RFU’s manager of softball, Rob Andrew, later called”the World Cup from hell”.
Youngs told BBC Radio 5 Live:”I’m proud of this fact I have been to two World Cups earlier – I am proud of 2011 because I had been there, also at 2015 representing England in a house World Cup, which was an accomplishment in itself.
“Every experience is different. They all teach you something. And the experience from 2011 made sure you keep centered on the pitch and then deliver on that.
“There were lots of distractions happening in that championship which didn’t assist us to provide.
“World Cups are strange things, and that I really don’t have the magical formula – it’s game, it occurs. It occurred to us.
“I will sit here and say I’m determined it will not occur again, however I can’t guarantee it.
“But it is what constitutes that things – about this class now under Eddie Jones. There are several guys who played 2011 and 2015 who did not get another opportunity at a World Cup.”
England open their campaign .
The Pacific islanders have been thumped 92-7 by New Zealand at a warm-up game this past month , conceding 14 attempts.
But Youngs – the most capped number nine in history – is conscious of the threat they may pose in the tournament proper.
“When you play with Tonga and Samoa and South Africa, you know they’re considered the very physical teams, and they rarely disappoint,” he said.
“We have got to be sure that physically we are up to this challenge – they’re going to find a lot of belief through how they take the ball and how they tackle.
“They’re big men, so we have to be smart about how we carry the ball and which channels we go down – they certainly will not give us some room around the ruck or obtaining momentum around there.
“You need to be patient. What you need to avoid is falling into the trap of fool space, where you see what you think is distance or an opportunity and change it too early, and then they get cover there.
“There is no hiding – you have to acquire through a team initially before it is possible to create the space out wide.
“They could lure you out there and then, boom, they shut it down and go really hard in the breakdown and make it quite tough for you.”
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