Scrum half rivals look to catch up with Youngs

Richard Wigglesworth admitted the rest of England's scrum-halves are playing catch-up after Norfolk's Ben Youngs' stunning full Test debut in the 21-20 win against Australia.

Richard Wigglesworth admitted the rest of England's scrum-halves are playing catch-up after Norfolk's Ben Youngs' stunning full Test debut in the 21-20 win against Australia.

Youngs, 20, from Aylsham, not only scored an individual try at Sydney's Olympic Stadium but his all-round performance prompted rave reviews from England captain Lewis Moody and senior hooker Steve Thompson.

Wigglesworth is third in the pecking order behind Youngs and Danny Care, having started both of England's midweek games against the Australian Barbarians.

The Northampton-bound scrum-half is set to play a part in tomorrow's final tour match against the New Zealand Maori.


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'You have to give everything you have got and we are playing catch-up to Youngs,' said Wigglesworth.

'Fair play to him, he was outstanding. Even if you take away the try the rest of his game was really impressive. He has certainly set the bar very high.

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'There is a lot of competition in the country at scrum-half and that competition breeds good performances.

'When I got in the squad I was asked whether I was worried about the depth in the position and I said I wasn't because there were lots of young guys coming through.

'I got laughed at and now I have been proved right. It is one of the strongest positions we have in the country.'

England's midweek side opened the tour with a 28-28 draw against the Australian Barbarians in Perth and then showed the first signs of the squad's improvement with a

15-9 win in Gosford.

Saturday's Test victory over the Wallabies has put a whole new complexion on the tour, not only because of the result but the manner in which England won.

Australia claimed the first Test because England failed to capitalise on their scrum dominance but they played with far greater urgency and tempo in Sydney at the weekend.

'The Test team were outstanding on Saturday, the midweek team are unbeaten and we hope to continue that on Wednesday,' said Wigglesworth.

'We played a really balanced game at the weekend and that is the key. We don't want to be seen only as a team that mauls and scrums.

'We want to be good at all those things but we have to have a balanced game like we did on Saturday.

'That is definitely our intention - to play heads-up rugby, have a crack at them.'

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