England scrum-half Ben Youngs has paid tribute to head coach Eddie Jones for the unstinting belief he has engendered within the squad which has translated into a perfect record of 13 victories during 2016.
The 27-year-old has flourished under Jones, who has said that Youngs could become as inspirational for England as Fourie du Preez for South Africa after limiting his intake of “lollies” – a reference to the Leicester No9’s increased fitness.
“From the moment we rocked up in February and we had the first meeting under Eddie, I did think that this was the guy who can get the best out of this side and he’s proven he can do that,” said Youngs.
“He instils confidence. We train at such high intensity that it’s almost above match level. if you can train at ease at that level then Test matches should become easier.
“I’m really enjoying my rugby and that’s credit to Eddie. This attacking framework is enjoyable to play in. He’s given the side belief and individuals confidence.”
Youngs also poured scorn on the notion that England have surged too soon with the next World Cup not until 2019. He added: “If we’re peaking like this at this stage where are we going to be in three years’ time? It’s very exciting.”