Ben Youngs relishing big chance for England ahead of Six Nations opener

England's Ben Youngs during the Captain's Run at Pennyhill Park Hotel, Surrey yesterday. Picture: Ga

England's Ben Youngs during the Captain's Run at Pennyhill Park Hotel, Surrey yesterday. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Ben Youngs has been handed a golden ticket which could keep him at the beating heart of the most important year in the history of English rugby.

The Norfolk star has been chosen in England's starting XV for tomorrow night's Six Nations curtain-raiser in Cardiff, as the journey to a home World Cup begins for the Red Rose.

The 25-year-old starts at scrum-half, with elder brother Tom amongst the replacements for the vital clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

The brothers, from Aylsham, return to the scene of one of their most painful defeats – where a 30-3 loss in 2013 saw Wales snatch the Six Nations title and destroy England's chance of winning a Grand Slam.

'That was one of the hardest days I've ever had on the rugby field,' Ben said. 'There's an element of 'we certainly don't want that ever happening again', and we've got to make sure that we go there with the experience that we took from that day and make sure that we use that experience to help us so that nothing is a surprise.

'The volume of the crowd, the atmosphere and all of those bits, we can't be daunted by it at all and I think the experience we got from suffering that hard defeat will put us in good stead for going out there and dealing with all those things you have to deal with when you're in the spotlight.'

– For much more from Youngs ahead of the Six Nations, see today's Eastern Daily Press or Norwich Evening News.

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– Get behind the scenes news from Ben Youngs and his England team-mates throughout the RBS Six Nations with O2 Inside Line. Search 'O2 Inside Line'.

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