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Youngs well aware of Irish threat

Ben Youngs has warned England will need to be up for the fight when they open up their Six Nations campaign against Ireland.

Youngs has bad memeories of the Aviva Stadium, having won just one game in four, and harrowing defeats in the Grand Slam matches of 2011 and 2017, still fresh in the memory.

The Leicester scrum-half says Ireland are always up for the fight and it will be no different on this occasion as they look to defend their title.

"With Irish teams you talk about their passion, but really they just love the fight. They are just mad about the fight," said Youngs, who is set to continue in the No 9 jersey.

"When I say the fight, I am talking about the breakdown, the aerial stuff, the bits of the game that are no-talent-required, niggly stuff.

"When I go to Ireland, whenever we come unstuck, they are just mad for the little fights. I'm not talking physical fights.

"I look at times, with club or country, when we've come unstuck, and it's been around that area of the breakdown.

"They've just been able to deal with it better, make it slow and frustrating for you. So there's no surprise we've spent a lot of time focusing on the breakdown."

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