England v Georgia: Ben Youngs says no coach ‘has ever come near’ Jones’ intelligence

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Ben Youngs and Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones became England head coach in 2015
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 14 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds with live text on BBC Sport website and app.

England scrum-half Ben Youngs says in his 100-cap international career no other coach “has ever come near” the rugby intelligence of Eddie Jones.

Youngs, 31, reached a century against Italy in October and says he plans to continue until the 2023 World Cup.

Jones became England boss in 2015 and has since led the side to a World Cup final and three Six Nations titles.

“I have never worked with anyone who knows the game as well as Eddie,” Youngs said on Rugby Union Weekly.

Speaking to fellow England nine Danny Care on the BBC Radio 5 Live podcast, Youngs continues: “No one has ever come near.

“If he watched a game now, he could come up with a gameplan and exploit both teams’ weaknesses within 10 minutes. It is incredible.”

‘He threw a pack of sweets at me when we first met’

Youngs has now become a favourite of Jones after playing under him for five years and is likely to earn his 101st cap against Georgia in Saturday’s Autumn Nations Cup match.

The scrum-half added that he admires Jones’ direct leadership style, something which led to an unorthodox first meeting between the pair.

“He told me I needed to lose some weight because I wasn’t fit enough and he needed me to be sharper,” Youngs recalls.

“He threw a big family pack of sweets at me and said ‘do you want it?’. I said no and he replied, ‘that’s it mate’.”

‘I want to be part of the 2023 World Cup’

Youngs was stuck on 99 caps for seven months after the coronavirus pandemic halted the Six Nations but now begins the work of closing in on Jason Leonard’s record of 114 caps.

Making his debut against Scotland in 2010, the Leicester back has earned two British and Irish Lions caps as well as being his country’s first choice scrum-half for most of the last decade.

But Youngs says he sees this milestone as a “reset” as he sets his sights on the 2023 World Cup in France.

“I have a huge desire to carry on,” he said. “I want to be a part of the 2023 World Cup.

“A lot can happen between now and then but that is my goal. I will do everything I can and see where it takes me.”

Youngs’ five best England moments

Care asked Youngs to pick his top five moments in an England shirt, here is what he went for:

Ben Youngs scores a try
His first international start against Australia in 2010. England won 21-20 and Youngs scored a solo try in the first half
Ben Youngs passes the ball
England’s 35-18 victory against Australia in November 2010, in which Youngs won man of the match
Tom and Ben Youngs in England kit
Playing for England alongside his brother Tom for the first time against Fiji in 2012. “It is so hard to describe that feeling,” Youngs said. “It was a moment of pure pride in him.”
Ben Youngs smiles with two trophies as someone pours champagne on his head
Winning a Six Nations Grand Slam against France in 2016. It was England’s first Grand Slam since 2003
Ben Youngs celebrates with Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade
Beating New Zealand 19-7 in the 2019 World Cup semi-final. “Because of the magnitude of the game and how the guys played it was a very special night,” Youngs said

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