Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Youngs motivated by defeat

Alex Corbisiero is out of the opening autumn Test against Australia.

Tom Youngs insists England are looking at last autumn's defeat to Australia rather than the British and Irish Lions' summer triumph to shape their mindset for Saturday's Cook Cup clash.

Twelve moths ago the Wallabies limped into Twickenham after being battered 33-6 by France, but the predicted rout failed to materialise as their group rivals at the 2015 World Cup won 20-14.

Youngs started that match and was then among seven Englishmen in the matchday squad that helped the Lions to a resounding 41-16 victory in the series-deciding encounter at ANZ Stadium in July.

The experience of demolishing Australia in Sydney has been banked, but it is the events of last November that are most relevant to the Leicester hooker.

"The Lions might still be fresh in Australia's minds, but this has always been one of the most enjoyable games of rugby. It's England v Australia which is massive for us and massive for them," Youngs said.

"Looking back at last year, they got the better of us so we're looking to put that right. That's our main motivation.

"We've looked back at that game in the last week to remind ourselves and get it fresh in our minds."

Australia often bristle when the vulnerability of their scrum is mentioned, but they were flattened in the set piece in Sydney to the extent buckling prop Ben Alexander was hauled off after 50 minutes.

Youngs denies they are a soft touch, however, as he recalls a disappointing day for England's scrum last autumn.

"The Aussie pack don't get the credit they deserve at times. They're all right, they can hold their own," he said.

"Against Argentina in the Rugby Championship, they did well over there, so they will be a massive challenge for us.

"They got the better of us in the scrum last year, so it's up to us to put that right."

The performance and result against Australia will set the tone for the autumn with victory putting them on the front foot for Argentina and New Zealand, and defeat leaving piling on early pressure.

"We want to win all three games. In any series you go into, you want to win all your games," Youngs said.

"It's important to set your stall out, then if you get knocked off a little bit, it's about how you recover and deal with that.

"We want to make Twickenham a massive fortress over the next two years, building up to the World Cup.

"This game is huge for us - the first of a long international season so it's massively important to set our stall out and get a good performance in.

"It's about starting big. You look at the Six Nations and we started pretty well against Scotland, but last autumn we played Fiji then went into the Australia game not quite on the pace of international rugby.

"We were a yard or two short and you can't be a yard or two short in international rugby."

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