Ben Youngs is Sure England Will Win 2010 Rugby World Cup

George HouseContributor IAugust 10, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 19:  Ben Youngs (R) and fellow scrumhalf Danny Care of England celebrate their victory after the Cook Cup Test Match between the Australian Wallabies and England at ANZ Stadium on June 19, 2010 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Youngs believes the 21-20 victory in the second Test in Sydney was a watershed moment for Martin Johnson's squad after two tumultuous years.

The Leicester scrum-half emerged as the leading light of the June tour, scoring a try on his full debut in what was only England's third victory against the Wallabies in Australia.

Although New Zealand's subsequent domination of the Tri-Nations has provided a more sobering context for England's achievement, Youngs says there is now a "great atmosphere" in the squad, who are taking part in a training camp at Twickenham this week.

And the 20-year-old, having relished his taste of success on the international stage, is convinced England are on track to make a big impact at the World Cup in New Zealand next year.

"The tour was fantastic and the win for us was a long time coming, we showed glimpses against France and all the boys put in a huge effort to get it right in the second Test," said Youngs, who has emulated his father Nick, another Leicester and England scrum-half, who won the last of six caps in 1984.

"The key for us is to keep moving forward and use the performance [against Australia] as a base," Youngs said. "It is up to the players to work hard and put in the performances and for the coaches to come up with the ideas. If we do that together there is no reason why we can't push ahead and put ourselves in good shape for New Zealand next year.

"We have got to believe as English players that we are capable of winning [the World Cup] and this is a big year for many players, myself included."

Former England coach Brian Ashton is among those who have earmarked Youngs as the outstanding player in an impressive group that won the Grand Slam with England Under-20s in 2008 and reached back-to-back finals of the International Rugby Board Junior World Championship.

"Youngs looks as though he has got an old head on young shoulders," Ashton said, "he is quick of service and of foot and pace is something you can't defend against, no matter what the level," Ashton said. "It also will be interesting to see how the young second-row forwards come through.

"I don't know Courtney Lawes that well but I do know Dave Attwood because he came through the national academy. He is a good footballer as well as being a big, hard man. That is the modern game."

Youngs agrees that a new generation of players is eager to make a breakthrough with England. "There are a lot of young players who deserved a go and it was nice that it didn't just work out for me but also went well for players like Courtney, Chris [Ashton], and Ben [Foden]," he said.

England's autumn series, which features matches against Australia, Argentina, and New Zealand, will provide a useful test of whether England are indeed making progress.

Youngs, voicing a sentiment that will no doubt impress Johnson, said that to become a world power again England would have to put in a lot of hard work. Starting with himself.

"My game management and basic skills have to improve," said Youngs, whose training regime at Leicester includes extra sessions with former England scrum-half Kyran Bracken.

"You can never rest on what skills you have got. My feet are firmly on the ground and I will work for everything I get."