English Rugby
Youngs not rushing comeback
ESPNscrum Staff
September 4, 2011
England scrum-half Ben Youngs warms up for their World Cup opener, England training session, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand, September 2, 2011
Youngs will hope to make an impact for England during the pool stages © Getty Images

England scrum-half Ben Youngs has admitted his introduction back into the side will be gradual rather than immediate.

The 21-year-old half-back sat out all three of England's warm-up Tests after undergoing key hole surgery on his knee. And with fellow scrum-half Danny Care missing the World Cup through a broken toe, Youngs will vie with Richard Wigglesworth and bolter Joe Simpson for the half-back spot.

England kick off their World Cup on Saturday against Argentina, and Youngs believes he will be introduced slowly back into the side.

"I'm fully training and the injury's good," he said. "The timing wasn't ideal, but thanks to the physios and all the people who helped I'm here now. I'm fully training and ready for selection.

"The coaches are very smart. They know how to use me," Youngs said. "They know that I might be lacking some match sharpness so I guess I'll be introduced slowly so it's just a case of getting that match sharpness back as it's not like you forget how to play.

"I like to think it won't take me too long but perhaps that's me being optimistic."

And with coach Martin Johnson adopting an open-door policy and allowing the odd beer, it seems the England coaching side has returned to the days of old touring mentality. Youngs claims morale is high in the camp ahead of the tournament.

"We're all very close in the group there's plenty of banter going around," he said. "We are no different to any local rugby team. We're just a group of mates who happen to do it for a living. We train hard and work hard and we all just get on like anyone else."

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