Ben Youngs believes a fresh perspective can help England finish a testing year on a high note.

After a fourth-place finish in the Six Nations and with captain Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola suspended for the start of the tournament in France, expectations of going one better than the runners-up result in 2019 have been tempered.

But scrum-half Youngs, who is set to feature in his fourth showpiece competition on the continent next month, reckons history shows the formbook counts for nothing.

“If I look back to 2011, we won the Six Nations and we lost in the quarter-final, then in 2015 we had a brilliant Six Nations and didn’t get out of our pool,” said Youngs, speaking from O2’s Wear the Rose Live event that crowned ‘The Unstoppable Fan’ at The O2 on Wednesday.

“So I don’t take too much from what’s gone on previously. I don’t look at what we’ve done in this Six Nations or where we are right now, because everything we’re doing is aiming towards being at our best in round one.

“I see a huge amount of growth in our game, every performance and every day in training, I see us getting a step closer to where we need to be.”

England men's most-capped player of all time, Youngs says he feels a ‘sense of responsibility’ to help the tournament newcomers manage the extended build-up and added pressure.

The 33-year-old is also doing things differently from a personal perspective, learning from past experiences to improve his own preparation.

“When you’re younger you overdo it a little bit because you try to cover all bases,” he said.

“When you get to the stage I’m at in my career, you narrow down what’s important and prioritise where you need to be.

“Physically I feel really good, but you only know that through knowing your body, which takes time.

“For me, the difference between this year and previous years is fine-tuning the bits that I know are important and influential towards the starting team.”

The England squad heading to France were all in attendance at The O2 on Wednesday as fans were first tested about their knowledge of the game before competing in a passing challenge with the players.

And England lock Maro Itoje revealed the entire squad enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime event just as much as everyone in attendance.

He said: “O2’s Wear the Rose Live event is a fantastic and hugely inspirational initiative ahead of travelling to France next month that brings together the players and fans like never before.

“Seeing so many passionate England Rugby supporters competing alongside us players to become the ‘Unstoppable Fan’ just shows the support and dedication for the squad and how much the sport, and what we do out on the pitch, means to people.”

Scrum-half Ben Youngs added: “It’s a brilliant initiative from O2 and we’ve all loved taking part. It’s been inspiring to see such amazing support behind the team just before we leave for France.

“Congratulations to all who were involved, your support means the world to me and all the team.”

And No.10 Marcus Smith said: “To be part of O2’s Wear the Rose Live event and helping to find England Rugby’s ‘Unstoppable Fan’ has been such a great experience for the team and I.

“Meeting and competing with 33 of the most passionate fans in a variety of fun-filled challenges has been brilliant - it’s been great to see them put their knowledge to the test, showcase their love of the game and really reveal just how much they know!

“Everyone here today should feel really proud, and when next month’s tournament gets underway, we hope the fans will be cheering us on and watching how we progress.”

Fans were selected due to their dedication to the England team, with each writing in with their reasons as to why they should make the final squad.

And Gareth Griffiths, Director of Partnerships and Sponsorships, Virgin Media O2, was delighted to be able to give back to some of the country’s most hardcore fans with such an exclusive experience.

He said: “To be able to give our customers such a fun and intimate experience with the England squad as they compete together to unveil the ‘Unstoppable Fan’ ahead of next month’s tournament has been great.

“Not only does it allow us to demonstrate our unwavering support to the team, but also shows the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities available to Virgin Media and O2 customers via Priority.

“Congratulations to everyone that took part today and to our Unstoppable Fan who will get to enjoy attending every England game at Twickenham until 2025 courtesy of O2. 

“We can’t wait to Wear the Rose and get behind the team as they take on the World’s best in France next month.”

O2 gave customers a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be crowned ‘The Unstoppable Fan’ ahead of the England Rugby team travelling to France next month. Fans competed for the coveted title at an exclusive and intimate live event at The O2 with the entire England Rugby Squad in attendance. Follow #WearLaRose to find out more and get involved.