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England players being made to pay the penalty, reveals Youngs

Well behaved: Ben Youngs has avoided training punishments
Well behaved: Ben Youngs has avoided training punishments

By Duncan Bech

England have addressed their indiscipline issues by punishing players who make mistakes worthy of conceding a penalty during training.

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Veteran scrum-half Ben Youngs revealed that Eddie Jones introduced the measure during the build-up to the World Cup in the hope of eradicating the type of error that has long been an Achilles heel. Any players who commit offences such as staying offside are punished by being made to do a series of gruelling exercises.

England face New Zealand in Saturday's semi-final in Yokohama and Youngs, who will continue at scrum-half when the team is announced today, knows his side must be pinpoint in their accuracy if they are to topple the world champions.

"We put a big emphasis on our discipline throughout pre-season and at the weekend it's going to be absolutely vital for that," Youngs said. "If boys did things in training they were sent to the corner of the pitch to get a bit of a flogging and stuff.

"The punishment would be a few down-ups, a few runs - it's normally the big boys who spend the time there and they would go with the (strength and conditioning) coach. It's something that we haven't always been terrific at, but certainly in this tournament we've been very, very good.

"We've been pleased at how we've been able to make sure we've stayed disciplined.

"I didn't get a flogging, I was too disciplined. It was for things like offsides," he added with a laugh.

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The last time the sides clashed was at Twickenham last autumn when a controversial offside decision against Courtney Lawes meant Sam Underhill's late try that would have clinched a famous win was disallowed.

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