ENGLAND must ignore their Six Nations title rivals’ scores and focus solely on achieving a pivotal victory over France when the championship reaches its climax this week, according to scrum-half Ben Youngs.
Saturday’s nervy 25-13 defeat of Scotland at Twickenham has left England locked in a three-way fight for the crown, with them, Ireland and Wales all currently on six points from four games.
Points difference looks certain to decide the destiny of the trophy this weekend, when Stuart Lancaster’s men host France, Ireland visit Murrayfield and the Welsh travel to Rome. England kick off after both of their rivals finish, meaning they should know exactly what is required to win their first Six Nations since 2011, but Youngs believes they are better off in the dark.
“The last thing you want to do in a Test match is go out there and try to chase the game and start getting loose,” said the Leicester No8. “All of a sudden you’re the ones who are 14-0 down. It’s probably better that we try to secure the win and messages will come on whether to kick for the corner or things like that.
“The important thing is that we don’t change what we do. We have to back the game-plan that we come out with will be good enough to create enough chances to score tries.”
Centre Jonathan Joseph, fly-half George Ford and wing Jack Nowell all scored tries against Scotland as England came from 13-10 down at half-time.
HOW IT STANDS
■ England have the best points difference of the three title challengers going into the final round, four ahead of Ireland and 25 better than Wales
■ The final fixtures are staggered across Saturday as follows: Italy v Wales at 12:30pm, Scotland v Ireland at 2:30pm and England v France at 5pm