The mood in the camp is spot on at the moment. All the boys are raring to go against Fiji and we can't wait to get out in front of the fans at a sold out Twickenham on Saturday. We're pitted against some of the best sides in the world each autumn, so everyone is looking forward to the QBE Internationals this year.
The weather has dropped in the last few days, so there's a bit of a chill. That said, none of the boys shy away from training in bad weather - everyone is just as keen to get out on the field and get stuck in. A few of the lads will be wearing a few extra layers though. Charlie Sharples wears all the compression skins in the cold to keep his hamstrings nice and warm, as he's basically a rugby player in a sprinter's body!
This week I joined some of the lads for an event at Richmond Rugby Club. We were taking part in various challenges in front of the cameras to launch the new series of O2 Inside Line. They had set up some target practice games which JJ [Jonathan Joseph], Freddie Burns and Mako [Vunipola] were dominating. There was also a table tennis competition which the boys always enjoy. I did okay on the night and most importantly beat my brother [prop Tom Youngs].
We do media interviews and sponsor appearances between games with the squad getting rotated so each of us gets to do different stuff. It's great to be able to interact with fans and people who are so passionate about the game in a relaxed environment. There were lots of youngsters down at Richmond and it was really nice to see how the next generation of rugby talent is getting on at grassroots level.
In the next few days the training will step up as we all get geared for the game on Saturday. We'll have double sessions with gym work in the morning then drills and moves on the field in the afternoon. On Thursday night we'll go out with the management and have a meal together somewhere nearby.
I'm pretty laid back so don't tend to get too nervous before matches. Each of the guys approaches a match weekend differently - some stay up late on the Thursday so they're a bit more tired and able to sleep well on the Friday night - but I've never had a particular routine.
We'll then have the team run on Friday morning before the focus is really stepped up 24 hours ahead of the game. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that I can't wait to get started.
Ben is representing the England team. Watch the latest episode of O2 Inside Line for more behind the scenes footage from inside the England camp, at www.O2InsideLine.com
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