Sport Six Nations 2020: Jones hails Youngs and George ahead of landmark England caps

21:30  29 october  2020
21:30  29 october  2020 Source:   performgroup.com

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England coach Eddie Jones has lauded Ben Youngs and Jamie George as the duo prepare to make landmark appearances against Italy.

Ben Youngs holding a football ball: Ben Youngs in England training © Getty Images Ben Youngs in England training

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Youngs will become just the second player, after Jason Leonard, to make it to 100 appearances for England when he takes to the field against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

England are chasing a bonus-point victory to keep them in contention for the Six Nations title, with leaders Ireland - one point better off - taking on third-place France in Saturday's later match.

Youngs is not the only player to be reaching an England milestone, with hooker George set to win his 50th cap.

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The duo have been made to wait over seven months, with England having last played against Wales in March, prior to the coronavirus outbreak causing the suspension of the championship.

"I can only speak with great admiration of Ben," said Jones in a news conference.

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"He had a difficult World Cup in 2015 and since then has worked extremely hard on his game. At his best he's close to the best half-back in the world.

"He's got a great running game, a good kicking game and he's an important, infectious character in our squad."

Jones added of George: "It's a great achievement for Jamie to be winning his 50th cap.

"He had a long apprenticeship but he's now fully established as our starting hooker."

Owen Farrell will captain the side, which features seven changes from the one which defeated Wales 33-30, and the Saracens fly-half echoed Jones' sentiments in regards to his team-mate Youngs.

"Everybody knows how good a player Ben is," Farrell said. "Not only or what he’s doing in recent times but for how long he's been doing it.

"He was in the England team when I was coming through, at a very young age, and he stepped up to the plate very quickly and has obviously been doing it ever since.

"He's brilliant to play with, he's a great driver of energy throughout the team which is brilliant for a scrum-half. He sees space very well and gets the team on the front foot."

England centurion Youngs targeting 2023 Rugby World Cup .
Ben Youngs made his 100th Test appearance last month, and is now aiming to use the enthusiasm of England's youthful squad to push him on.Youngs won his 100th cap in England's 34-5 victory over Italy in Rome on October 31 – a win that secured a Six Nations triumph for Eddie Jones' side.

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