Ben Youngs expects England to rise to the challenge against New Zealand
Last Updated: November 28, 2012 10:45pm
Ben Youngs: Leicester scrum-half keen for England to express themselves in final autumn Test
Ben Youngs is convinced the challenge of taking on world champions New Zealand at Twickenham, on the back of two frustrating results, will bring the best out of England.
The All Blacks have not lost an autumn international to northern hemisphere opponents in a decade and they return to Twickenham looking to extend a 20-Test unbeaten run.
England, meanwhile, have managed just one win, against Fiji, in their last six Test matches and they carry some pent-up frustration after being beaten 16-15 last week by South Africa.
"I strongly believe with the culture we have in the squad that we will go out there and really express ourselves and take the game to New Zealand," said Youngs, the Leicester scrum-half.
"What a huge opportunity to play the world champions at home. That is how we see it. There is no fear, there is no going into our shells.
"It doesn't matter who we are playing, we will go out there with mates either side of you, playing to win. I think our guys will thrive in that environment.
"I have no doubt that we have a big performance in us. There have been glimpses of it and if we get it right for 80 minutes we can be a test for any team.
"There is a huge amount of disappointment and frustration. It is about bottling that and bringing it out at the weekend."
The theme of England's autumn has been the fine line between right and wrong decisions in the tumult of a Test match at Twickenham.
Youngs held his hands up for taking a quick tap penalty as England chased the game against Australia when the better option would have been to go for the posts.
"What a huge opportunity to play the world champions at home. That is how we see it. There is no fear, there is no going into our shells."
Last week, England captain Chris Robshaw opted for the posts with two minutes remaining when there was a strong argument for kicking to the corner considering the Springboks led 16-12.
Youngs believes experience is vital in those situations, which is something England do not have much of - less still following the injury to Toby Flood, the only player with 50 caps in the squad.
Robshaw still felt quite down when he returned to the England camp on Sunday night but he was geed up by supportive comments from his team-mates, an example of how tight the squad is.
"I would have done exactly what Chris did," said Youngs. "He took the points, we catch the restart or we let it go dead and we have got a scrum on the halfway.
"I have been in South Africa's situation, when you then have got a scrum on halfway, with a huge amount of pressure on you and the crowd going and we have got a tremendously powerful scrum.
"Robbo has been a fantastic captain and we back him whatever he does and as I say, if that had been me in that situation, I would have done exactly the same.
"We have got so much self-belief that no matter what we are in game scenarios, we really believe that we can still win a game and that is very rare."