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England must be on guard against Fiji for World Cup opener, says Ben Youngs

Published 14/09/2015

England's Ben Youngs passes during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire
England's Ben Youngs passes during the World Cup Warm up match at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 5, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire

Ben Youngs has warned England of the danger posed by Fiji if they enter the second half of Friday's World Cup opener sensing an upset is possible.

The Islanders are heavy underdogs but know that if they remain in touch by the interval, they could take advantage of a restless Twickenham crowd and crank up the pressure on the tournament hosts.

It is a message that Youngs is keen to emphasise after several chances were butchered in last weekend's 21-13 victory over Ireland, enabling the RBS 6 Nations champions to remain in the hunt when they should have been dead and buried.

"You've got to put teams to bed early. If we get three opportunities early on against Fiji, then we must take them," scrum-half Youngs said.

"They're not the sort of side you want to still be in the game at half-time or 60 minutes because they have the ability to score from anywhere.

"They have so many threats like their offloading and stepping. We need to make sure we're not keeping them in the game and feeding their belief.

"Ireland is a good example of what we can't do. We had two tries disallowed and there were a couple of overlaps when we chose to throw long rather than pick them off.

"Fiji's confidence will surge if they're still in the game around the 60-minute mark. And a team like Fiji are always going to do the unexpected."

Fiji's dangermen are scrum-half Nikola Matawalu, giant wing Nemani Nadolo and centre Vereniki Goneva, a team-mates of Youngs at Leicester.

Belfast Telegraph

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