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Rugby Union: Saracens youngster Ben Earl says past glories will count for little as England look to defend World Rugby Under-20 Championship title

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 May 2017

England players celebrate after winning the Under-20s Six Nations (pic Liam McBurney/PA)

England players celebrate after winning the Under-20s Six Nations (pic Liam McBurney/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Tournament kicks off in Georgia this week

Ben Earl believes England’s under-20’s can create their own memories and put the past successes behind them as they begin the defence of their World Championship title in Georgia next week.

The Saracens and England back-row captained the side against France and Wales on their way to Six Nations grand slam glory in March.

“We know the success that has come before us and we are trying to create our own legacy. It’s quite an achievement we know, but we have the group and we’ve got a fresh new coaching staff with new ideas and new direction.

“We’ve looked at where we were from last year and the Six Nations, so we can’t rest on our laurels and we’ll endeavour to put a stamp on the competition.

“We’ve got to do the work and hopefully we can show the coaching staff what we can do out in Georgia.

“The Six Nations was a massively challenging environment. We found ourselves in all kinds of situations and we also found ourselves with backs against the walls in Ireland but we have come through that better for it.

Earl has progressed through the ranks at Saracens and the invaluable experience that the young players are exposed to could prove key to retaining the title.

“There’s a massive pool of players to pick from and the academies are bringing players through. Taking a segment out of everyone’s club and their ethos and putting that all together to create an eclectic energy in the group.

“In our club group preparation for each game, we just take one game at a time and just try and create an energy within the group.

“We know that when things aren’t going as well, we can pick ourselves up and get the results we want.”

England will face Pool A opponents Samoa next Wednesday before ties against Wales (Sunday 4th) and Australia (Thursday 8th).

“We’re not going to show our hand in the first game. If we can get it right off the pitch, on the pitch we’ll get it right in all aspects of the competition.

“We all know what we need to do but we’ll go one game at a time.”


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