June International Tours

Fitter England expect Australia to run them off their feet




England scrum-half Ben Youngs says that they are expecting Australia’s Wallabies to try and run them off their feet in the three Test June Internationals.

Australia will host England for three Test matches starting in Brisbane before moving to Melbourne and then the final test in Sydney.

England under head coach Eddie Jones are determined to confront the Wallabies front on

“Australia will come at us hard in terms of their attacking game,” Youngs told The Telegraph.

“Michael Cheika [the Australia coach] is happy to run it out from deep and try to make yards up the field rather than do it through kicking and get guys like [Israel] Folau into the game.

“We are obviously going to have to go down there with a big set-piece because it is an area where we have been strong during the Six Nations and it was an area where they got the better of us previously.

“I expect them to play a high-tempo game, they will want to try to run us off our feet. They are still halfway through the Super Rugby campaign, so I imagine they will want it hot and a firm track and be able to run us around.”

Jones has coached the Wallabies as well as the Brumbies and Reds at Super Rugby level and also keeps a close eye on Australian Rugby so he knows what to expect from Australian head coach Michael Cheika who is a former team mate.

“Eddie knows them better than any of us and I think he will know what their approach will be, so we will come up with a game plan to nullify them,” said Youngs.

England arrived in Australia with confidence having gone unbeaten under Jones who took charge late last year.

England won their first Six nations Grand Slam in 13 years earlier this year while English Premiership club retained their title this year and won their first European cup title.

In preparation for Australia’s expected up tempo game Youngs has revealed that since the Six Nations Jones has had him doing extra training sessions after his regular Leicester Tigers sessions with a focus on increading the number of metres per minute he is able to run.

“I had normal training at the club on a Monday and then the England strength and conditioning coaches were in contact with Leicester and came up with a programme and you did your top-ups at the end of the training session,” says Youngs.

“Some Mondays I was slower to pick it up, depending on the fixture I came off the back of.”

“What really impressed me during the Six Nations was that the training was short but how intense it was. They tell you what you need to do. For example, if you are running 50 metres, what your time needs to be. Then they increase it or add another rep in. They just add more to it.

“I do feel fitter and faster. What Eddie has brought in is being able to back up high intensity running. In some of the games during the Six Nations, we had more in the tank that the opposition did. We could sustain that [intensity] for longer. That is just through the training. Everyone felt better for it.

“The biggest thing they measure for the scrum-half is metres per minute, how many metres you can cover, so in the typical England training session you might be running 140 to 160 metres per minute.

“In a typical Test match you may be running 85 to 100 metres. So they are making training a lot harder than games, so when it comes to games, you should feel better. If you are fitter, your decision-making is actually better because you are not fatigued. It allows you to play a lot quicker and a higher tempo game and get to ruck to ruck quicker.

“At every ruck you have three options, run, pass or kick, and the longer the phases go, the harder it is to make those decisions and, if you do make those decisions, then trying to execute them properly. That is why there has been a huge emphasis on fitness, because the southern hemisphere have always led that way because they always want to play attacking rugby and have had more in the tank. ”

“That is an area that Eddie wants to focus on to make sure we can play that style and in that way.”

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