England assistant coach Kevin says door is not closed on axed Youngs
‘It’s just for this weekend… we hope those guys continue to fight’: England assistant coach Kevin Sinfield insists the door is not closed on Ben Youngs despite him being left out of a matchday squad for the first time in NINE YEARS
- Axing veteran Youngs proves Borthwick will not be afraid to make tough calls
- The head coach of the national team has sent seven players back to their clubs
- Borthwick continues England overhaul by recruiting Wigglesworth and Walters
Ben Youngs has been left out of England’s matchday squad for the first time since 2014 as Steve Borthwick showed his ruthless streak.
The scrum-half, who is England’s most-capped player, has not been overlooked when fit since Stuart Lancaster selected Danny Care and Lee Dickson.
Flanker Ben Curry and winger Anthony Watson were also sent home on Wednesday night, with Alex Mitchell, Jack Willis and Henry Arundell in line to replace them.
Assistant coach Kevin Sinfield, however insisted Youngs remains part of the picture: ‘It’s just for this weekend. Ben’s certainly part of our squad.
‘Steve delivers the news and it’s a difficult job in its own right. This isn’t about just the XV or the 23, it’s much bigger than that. We hope those guys continue to fight and stay in the room. They’ve been outstanding.’
Ben Youngs has been left out of England’s matchday squad for the first time since 2014
Borthwick sent seven players back to their clubs, including four British & Irish Lions stars in Youngs, Watson, Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill – proving he will not be swayed by reputations.
Centres Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade have been retained after not featuring in the matchday 23 against Scotland.
And breakthrough sensation Arundell is also in contention to feature, despite making just one appearance off the bench for London Irish after three months out.
Skipper Owen Farrell heaped praise on the youngster, saying: ‘He’s got everything when it comes to a running game; people have speed, strength, can ride tackles, feet. Usually people have one maybe two of them, he’s got it all.
‘You see that unbelievable try he scored against Toulon and you thought “brilliant” but then he came on the Australia tour and he was doing that in training every other day.
‘When he got the ball in his own 22 and he was against you, you were thinking: “Anything could happen here.” There are not too many people who do that, who put everyone on the edge of their seat when they get the ball. He is one.
‘I don’t want to compare him to anyone but I remember growing up, watching Wigan, and then into rugby union, every time Jason Robinson got the ball, something would happen. I’m not comparing him, but he’s got a bit of that about him, Henry.’
England flanker Ben Curry has been dropped for Italy clash after starting against Scotland
Anthony Watson has missed the cut for Sunday’s Six Nations encounter with Italy in Rome
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