England’s Ben Youngs has fired back at Matt To’omua with a very cheeky dig of his own.
Cracking jokes about England’s players at a recent press conference at the Rugby World Cup, To'omua said Youngs wasn’t even the best player in his family.
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Former Leicester star To'omua shapes as an important figure for Australia heading into Saturday's match at Oita even though he has been unable to crack the starting XV.
Having spent the last three seasons playing in the English Championship, To'omua is well placed to assess the attributes of opponents he knows well.
With a smile on his face, he delivered some cheeky off-field observations of the five Leicester players lining up in England's matchday 23.
"I know all their weaknesses luckily and I have been telling everyone," he said.
"Manu (Tuilagi) is a terrible snooker player, George Ford never pays for a beer, Ben Youngs isn't even the best rugby player in his family, let alone the country. The chicken, Jonny May, very weird and Dan Cole doesn't have a personality."
To’ouma was referring to Youngs’ fellow rugby-playing brother Tom, and it seems Ben has taken notice.
In a press conference of his own on Friday, Youngs shot back at To’omua with a similar dig about the Wallabies star’s wife Ellyse Perry - one of Australia’s finest cricketers.
“He’s pretty happy with himself, he sent me the video,” Youngs said of To’omua.
“It’s funny talking about second fiddle. He’s married to Ellyse Perry, so he knows my pain.”
Quality shot fired back by Ben Youngs: “He’s pretty happy with himself, he sent me the video. It’s funny talking about second fiddle. He’s married to Ellyse Perry, so he knows my pain.”
— Iain Payten (@iainpayten) October 18, 2019
Although clearly a joke, Youngs probably has a point.
Perry is an absolute superstar across all forms of cricket, and has even played professional soccer in the W-League.
Perry and To’ouma have been married since 2015.
To’ouma warns of England danger
British reporters lapped up To'omua's humour before he put a serious slant on his analysis.
He was intrigued by the demotion of in-form five-eighth Ford to the bench this weekend but believed it will spell late danger for the Wallabies.
"He's been brilliant the last couple of years but teams nowadays really are using that 23 mentality, particularly at the World Cup," To'omua said.
"England have the ability to play quite a few ways and you can assume that George will come on and lift the pace. I am sure the game will speed up towards the end."
Powerhouse midfield back Tuilagi was expected to bring a more in-your-face threat after being moved closer to the action at inside centre.
"Manu is a name that sticks out for a lot of reasons, he is a strong carrier and makes a lot of big plays," To'omua said.
"It is probably trying to shut down his time and space. He is at 12 now so it might be a little easier in that sense however I am sure they're working out ways to give him some ball one-on-one at full steam."