Ben Youngs has warned Wales that England are playing their best rugby of Eddie Jones' tenure and says they will travel to Cardiff, for a potential Grand Slam decider, in stronger form than when they last triumphed there in 2017.

England followed up their stunning win against Ireland in the opening round of the Six Nations with a 44-8 thrashing of France that means victory over Wales will make them odds-on favourites to complete their second Grand Slam in four years.

Wales are the only other unbeaten team in the competition but Youngs believes the England side are an even more daunting prospect than when they enjoyed a run of 17 successive victories under Jones.

The halfback scored in the 21-16 win over Wales during that sequence and believes this team have reached a new summit with their attacking rugby after exceptional displays in Dublin and at Twickenham.


"From what I remember since I've been involved with Eddie, yes," Youngs said when asked whether England had reached a high point under Jones. "Probably not higher intensity, just more consistent with it.

"Maybe that's maturity, personnel, I'm not sure. It's certainly great fun out there. You can probably see it. From one to 23, guys are thriving and loving being part of the team.

"I think we've just got to get the balance right because English rugby is the set-piece — we've got to get that absolutely, fundamentally right — and a physical defence. Then you need some gold dust in the backline to try to unlock teams.

"Elliot [Daly], Sladey [Henry Slade] and obviously Jonny [May] have been able to do that in the last couple of weeks. It's been great."

England plundered six tries at Twickenham on Monday with a polished display, especially during the opening 60 minutes, that was underpinned by tactical kicking that punished France's sloppy backfield defence.

Youngs contributed to that with a variety of hanging high balls and one centre-field grubber for Chris Ashton to chase and gather before Slade's score.

Jones opened his post-match comments with the ominous suggestion that England had possibly "left 15 to 20 points out there", citing a fractured finish in which the hosts failed to add to their tally after the 55th minute.

Youngs agreed and admitted composure had deserted England on at least two occasions.

"I think that's probably a mark of where we want to be," he said. "It felt there were a fair few opportunities out there.

"We got a bit seduced by the game, but it's still a great win. If you told me that was going to be the scoreline at the start of the day, against a team that can be extremely dangerous, I'd have taken it."

Wales, England's next opponents, racked up an 11th consecutive test victory in Rome on Sunday as Italy were beaten 26-15. At the end of a disjointed game, coach Warren Gatland admitted a similar performance against England would leave Wales "embarrassed".

This ninth Anglo-Welsh meeting for Youngs could be extra special and he promised that England's preparation would be exacting and comprise a game plan tailored to take on Gatland's side.

"They've had a good run, haven't they? It's going to be a great two weeks. This is what the championship is about. There are always certain games that it comes down to."

England will issue an update on the fitness of Mako Vunipola later this week. The loosehead prop was helped from the field shortly after halftime with an ankle injury.