Do England need to move on from Ben Youngs?

England v Scotland Six Nations Q&A: Do England need to move past Ben Youngs? -David Rogers/Getty Images

England lost their first match of the Steve Borthwick era after Scotland bested them at Twickenham.

Telegraph Sport’s senior rugby writer Charlie Morgan answers your questions after Gregor Townsend’s side claimed the Calcutta Cup once again.

Ben Youngs had two horrible kicks to hand over possession as he was brought in to control the game. It’s time to keep going forward?

This question has come up a lot in recent years and Borthwick will have pondered it. He is known for his loyalty to the players and Youngs was one of his lieutenants on the Tigers. But two poor kicks from the veteran scrum-half in the span of a minute, with England leading 23-22, felt particularly damaging. Finn Russell had just deflected a strikeout in the plenary to give the hosts a lineout. They struck and Youngs soared into the sky.

However, he traveled too far for any of the pursuers, Ben Earl or Anthony Watson, to challenge him. Kyle Steyn called for a mark and punted. The youngsters gathered in the back field and attempted a high and low so that Freddie Steward would chase them down. Once again, the kick sailed too long. Steward couldn’t jump. Russell caught and spun, lobbing a pass to Blair Kinghorn who opened the field and instigated the 80-metre attack that Duhan van der Merwe finished off. In an instant, Scotland’s conviction stood in stark contrast to the way England seemed to toughen up.

Youngs also hooked a couple of unsuccessful chips from the base of the rucks which delivered good positions. Alex Mitchell would appear to be next in line if Borthwick feels he needs to freshen things up. Raffi Quirke will come into consideration. One concern would be that Jack van Poortvliet, number one, is only 21 years old. An experienced counterpoint would be helpful. The outlook in the scrum half is still curious.

Will Steve Borthwick bring Henry Arundell or other players to Italy?

It’s very hard to see Borthwick overreact to their first game given that there were encouraging aspects. Regardless of what happens in their match against France, however, Italy will come to Twickenham intent on imparting breadth and confident of their maiden win over England.

Henry Arundell has just returned to the London Irish after missing a few months due to a foot injury. If there is a change in the back three, it would be a surprise if he jumped ahead of Anthony Watson or Tommy Freeman. Raffi Quirke and George Ford, who were the starting half for Sale Sharks in the Premiership Rugby Cup last Friday, will also likely need more time.

England's Henry Arundell tackles Australia's James O'Connor - England v Scotland Six Nations Q&A: Do England need to outrun Ben Youngs?  -Gary/AP Day

England’s Henry Arundell breaks up the tackle of Australia’s James O’Connor – England v Scotland Six Nations Q&A: Do England need to outrun Ben Youngs? -Gary/AP Day

England are hopeful that Courtney Lawes and Henry Slade will rejoin soon enough. Remember that a group made up of Sam Simmonds, David Ribbans, Jack Willis and Manu Tuilagi trained with the squad all week. Willis scored in a close win for Toulouse over Bayonne. He’s clearly a very strong back-row option. Others, like Alex Mitchell and Cadan Murley, were released Tuesday. Any renovation would start there.

Can anyone explain why the referee on the video missed the ‘forward pass’ for Scotland’s last try?

by relative speed. It may look like the ball traveled forward from Matt Fagerson to Van der Merwe, but it left the former’s hands in a backwards direction. This is how one tends to define a legal pass. The forward direction arises from Fagerson’s momentum. Lewis Ludlam’s scoring pass to Max Malins in the first half looked similar, albeit over shorter distance.

How long until we see two Chesums in the England pack?

This certainly felt like a significant and declarative performance from Ollie Chessum in what was his first Six Nations appearance. Steve Borthwick is obviously familiar with the 22-year-old from their time together at Leicester Tigers and choosing him at block allowed England to put together a relatively light and hard-working back line that would suit long kicking exchanges. Behind Ellis Genge, Chessum was probably the most prominent carrier for the hosts. Trotting but explosive, he was constantly eating ground, and his exploits from set pieces will not have been lost on Borthwick. Chessum, instead of Maro Itoje, tucked in behind England’s tight-headed props Kyle Sinckler and then Dan Cole and was a jumper into the side. He is also capable of switching into a blindside flanker if Borthwick fancy a heavier package against the likes of France or South Africa.

Could there be two Chesums in that package one day? Well, Lewis Chessum is the current England Under-20 captain and led his team to a frenetic 41-36 win over Scotland on Friday night at the Twickenham Stoop. Less than 24 hours later, Chessum junior was across the street supporting his older brother. Lewis is taller than his brother, which is pretty impressive given that Ollie is 6ft 7in and handy. He will keep an eye on Leicester, Nottingham, where he has been on loan, and the Under-20 Six Nations to monitor his progress.

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