English Rugby
Geech tips England to kick on
July 20, 2010
Scrum-half Ben Youngs dives in to score England's first try, Australia v England, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, June 19, 2010
Ben Youngs is one of England's new breed © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Martin Johnson | Ian McGeechan | Ben Youngs
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Sir Ian McGeechan believes that England can mount a challenge at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The legendary British & Irish Lions coach, now working with Aviva Premiership side Bath, has pinpointed England's new-found blend of youth and experience as a vital factor in ensuring their competitiveness at the tournament.

Martin Johnson's side secured a potential watershed moment with victory over Australia in Sydney in June and did so thanks in part to the influence of youngsters Ben Youngs, Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes.

"England, of all the sides at the moment, have probably got the best mix of established, experienced players and enthusiastic quality younger players," McGeechan told the Daily Telegraph.

"If that continues to evolve over the next 12 months then they will probably be in pretty good shape for the World Cup. Johnno knows what he wants and he knows what it takes to create a winning environment. The key is for him to see that what they achieved in that last Test against Australia is just a staging point rather than a finishing line."

Leicester scrum-half Youngs, 20, was particularly impressive with a solo try in the Sydney Test and McGeechan has highlighted his influence as vital to setting the tempo for the team.

"Sometimes making just one change affects the way others play and I think Johnson's decision to play Ben Youngs was critical for England," he said. "The way Youngs played had an impact on what happened around him and that drew slightly different games out of other players."

© Scrum.com

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