Rugby League World Cup: Dom Young vows more to come after two tries in England opener
England winger Dom Young has made a flying start to life on the international stage, but the 21-year-old is adamant there is still plenty of work he needs to do if he is to become the player his potential indicates he can be
Last Updated: 17/10/22 6:30am
If you are not regular watcher of the NRL and were wondering ahead of the Rugby League World Cup what all the fuss with Dom Young was about, wonder no more.
The Newcastle Knights winger could hardly have asked for a better start to his international career. After showing a glimpse of what he could do with a try and two assists in England's warm-up victory over Fiji, Young announced himself on the sport's biggest stage in style in the tournament opener on Saturday.
Two tries in the 60-6 win over Samoa at St James' Park showcased some of the best aspects of his game too. The first, bursting down the right touchline before cutting back inside to finish, saw his pace and game-reading and intelligence come to the fore, while the second was all about his athleticism as he took to the air with his 6' 7", 16st 12lb frame to dive over near the corner post.
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Young is well aware of the expectations which were on him heading into the tournament, particularly after being chosen ahead of the experienced Ryan Hall to feature on the wing against the Samoans, but despite his impressive start to life in an England shirt, the 21-year-old knows he is still learning.
"I guess you could look at it that," Young said. "A lot of people probably haven't seen too much of me with me being in Australia, but every time I step on the field and try to do what's best for the team and work hard.
"There are always things to improve on and that's what I'll look at, to see where I can get better. There is always more to learn.
"I'm the kind of player who is never happy or never satisfied. I always want to be the best version of myself and always want more from myself."
Dom Young's stats vs Samoa
Shaun Wane's intent to give those players like Hall who were not part of the team against Samoa a run-out in England's second Group A match against France this coming Saturday means Young may be a spectator for the match in Bolton.
Whether it is he or goal-kicking winger Tommy Makinson, who scored a try and kicked 20 points in the rout of Samoa, who is rested remains to be seen, although the St Helens man is impressed with what Young has added to the squad.
"Dom Young played great, I thought I had a good game, so whatever happens [with team selection for France] happens," Makinson said.
"He's great; he's impressive, he's young and energetic - he's a great player and we love him to bits. He brings a lot to our team and I'm really happy that he's in my squad."
Young's double in Newcastle carried extra significance for him given how his family on his mother's side are from the city, along with being proud Newcastle United fans.
His mum and grandmother were among the 43,119 spectators at St James' Park for the match too, adding to what was already a special day for the Wakefield-born player.
"I couldn't have imagined that start before the game," Young said. "To have all my friends and family watching it, it was a dream come true.
"Obviously my mum's side of the family are from here and my mum and my grandma, I could see they were extra proud on Saturday. It was really nice to see them there, so it was special."