“I Want To Achieve What He’s Achieved” says England’s U20 Ben White on Mentor Ben Youngs

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Ben White
BATH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Ben White of Leicester during the Anglo-Welsh Cup Round 2 match between Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers at the Recreation Ground on November 10, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers’ record-breaking scrum half Ben White is set to make his debut for England at U20 level during this year’s Six Nations Championship.

Having featured for the Tigers this season, White overtakes Ben Youngs as the club’s youngest debutant in the No.9 role.

The young half-back has starred for England at age grade level, including at U17 level, having toured to France as well as touring with the Tigers U20s.

Leicester The Perfect Place To Develop

But closer to home, White feels he’s suitably placed in the midlands to develop his game further. Having a British and Irish Lion and 73-England caps in Youngs around will surely add to his development. White spoke exclusively to Last Word on Rugby.

”He’s a good mentor to have and he’s so knowledgable. I train with him everyday when I’m at Leicester.

“He said [to me] to enjoy it and take advantage of your opportunities.

The 19-year old added: ”The goal is to achieve what he’s achieved – obviously there’s a long way to get there but that’s the ambition.”

Following In The Footsteps of U20 Royalty

White is joined by Joe Heyes, Sam Lewis, Tom Hardwick and Jordan Olowofela in the U20 set-up from Leicester.

”In a new environment with new faces, I’m really enjoying being involved. My parents and family were happy – I’ve had lots messages saying well done.”

The Tigers have a proud history of developing players for England’s age grade levels.

Leicester Prop Dan Cole and fly-half George Ford as well as scrum-half Youngs have all come through the ranks with England’s U20s.

”A lot of the players at Leicester have played U20s. They all say how good it is and how good it is for your game.

”They all buy into it and really take in the environment and enjoy playing the rugby.

”The Six Nations is a good opportunity to showcase what you can do so hopefully I can achieve what the others have.

”Being at Leicester and a club that wants everything – it’s exactly the same here [with England].”

We Don’t Need To Worry About Pressure

White is one of 18 players in the 32-man EPS squad that could make their debut at this level.

But his take on the pressure and the expectation that comes with being in a successful England side owes much to  the maturity he’s already developed.

“Training hard and getting to know everyone starts with our game plan. That almost installs a confidence.

”It’s a good opportunity to get some game time and play at the next level. It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

”When the pressure comes in games, you don’t have to worry about it, you’re just worrying about your job and getting the end result.

We All Want To Win

England take on Italy in Friday night in the first round of this year’s competition. The scrum-half will be hoping to be in the mix to feature during the game.

By being labelled as the favourites, White knows he’ll be able to call on the experience of the players around him to put in a good showing.

”The likes of James Grayson at 10 as well as players like Ben Earl – players at the top of the pile at this age group.

“They’re the players you want to play with and put in a good performance for.

“We all want to win the Six Nations and we all want to go far in the World Cup,  that’s what’s driving me.”

 

White is one of three of LWOR’s players to watch ahead of the tournament. You can keep upto date with all the updates from the competition with us here at LWOR.

The Six Nations U20 Championships kicks off this Friday night. Holders England travel to Italy, France take on Ireland and Wales welcome Scotland.

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