IRB Junior Championship: England Under-20s out to make amends

Last Updated: 04/06/13 11:50am

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Jack Clifford: 'Quietly confident' of success

Jack Clifford: 'Quietly confident' of success

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England Under-20s captain Jack Clifford insists his side are "quietly confident" heading into the IRB Junior World Championship.

England open their campaign with the daunting prospect of taking on the hosts France on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports 3 HD from 5.30pm.

And things will not get any easier for the Under-20s Six Nations winners, with games against defending champions South Africa and the USA to follow.

However Clifford claims England are ready for the challenges ahead.

"I think the boys are quietly confident," Clifford told Sky Sports. "We are not underestimating anyone - and when you have to play France in France you know it is going to be tough.

Disappointed

"However everyone is in a good place at the moment and we are ready.

"We are playing the best in the world and it is a hard tournament structure. There is no week break between games, it is a quick turnaround. We face the hosts France and then the former champions the game after, so it is pretty tough."

England will head into the competition in determined mood, having underperformed 12 months ago to eventually finish seventh.

It was a disappointing finish for England, who had performed brilliantly to reach the final in 2011 - and Clifford claims it will act as motivation for the squad.

"There is no pressure on us but as players and individuals we want to perform," he added.

"We want to right the wrongs of last year as we were disappointed to finish seventh as we know we could have done better.

"This year we are taking each game on its merit and making sure that we go out and perform to out best."

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