Ben Youngs determined to keep number nine jersey against Les Bleus
Ben Youngs has been tactically studying former France scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili in an attempt to develop his skills.
Last Updated: 20/02/13 2:47pm
Youngs has been training hard this week after rival scrum-half Danny Care produced an eye-catching performance on his return to club action last weekend.
Care has been applying the pressure on Youngs of late and produced an electrifying performance for Harlequins against Leicester, highlighted by a try from a trademark quick tap penalty.
But Youngs remains the man in possession of the No.9 jersey and impressed during England's 12-6 win over Ireland in Dublin last time out.
In France, game management has traditionally been the job of the scrum-half rather than the fly-half and that is something Youngs has been working on.
"One of the players I have studied quite a bit is Yachvili and the way he determines everything and how he plays at Biarritz," Youngs said.
"The French nine traditionally runs the whole show. In England it is the 10. Now, though, the way the game is moving nine and 10 both have to control each thing."
Youngs is set to retain his for Saturday's game against France, where he is likely to start opposite one of the best scrum-half generals in the field Morgan Parra.
"He (Parra) dictates where the play is going, the ability to box kick or kick into the corner, the ability to look up and suddenly swing left when the 10 is lining up right", Youngs said.
"We have to keep our wits about us. We have all played against French teams enough to know they play in a similar way.
Youngs had last weekend off but the bench from the Ireland game were sent back to play in the Aviva Premiership and he is feeling the heat from Care and even from Gloucester's Dan Robson.
"It is good for the squad and good for me because I know how I have got to perform," Youngs said.
"It will continue to be like this for the rest of my career with Danny and there are always new guys - look how Dan Robson played for Gloucester at the weekend, it will not be long before he is knocking on the door."