Head coach Eddie Jones has tipped scrum-half Ben Youngs to have the same influence on England as South Africa great Fourie du Preez had on the Springboks as his side bid to become the world’s No1-ranked team.
Youngs sparkled at No9 on Saturday as England ended a 10-year hoodoo by running in four tries and beating two-time World Cup winners South Africa 37-21 at Twickenham – Jones’s 10th consecutive win since taking charge in November 2015.
Leicester’s Youngs, 27, created two of England’s four tries, was a constant pest to the Springboks defence and box-kicked with precision, all of which earned him rave reviews from taskmaster Jones.
“He’s a big lad for a half-back, he weighs 88 or 89kg depending on how many lollies he’s eaten, and he’s got a nice turn of pace and awareness of space so we want to develop that running game with him,” said Jones.
“He’s got an exceptional kicking. The only half-back with a kicking game like him is Fourie du Preez. He can have that influence that Du Preez had on the Springboks. We want to be a team that can play completely off No9, No10 or No12.”
Attention turns to Fiji on Saturday as England bid to win their 12th successive match and close in on New Zealand’s record of 18. Jones added: “We’ve got to bore them to death. If they get bored, they don’t want to play and you can get points against them.”