Leicester Tigers star Ben Youngs speaks of his admiration for older brother Tom’s strength of character
PUBLISHED: 16:42 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:43 25 August 2017
Ben Youngs has spoken of the admiration he has for his ‘incredible’ older brother, Tom, as he supports his wife following a terminal cancer diagnosis.
The tragic news was announced in May, when Ben made the decision to drop out of the British & Irish Lions squad to remain close to his family during the difficult time.
Amid those tough circumstances, it was younger brother Ben who spoke at the launch of the Aviva Premiership season at Twickenham yesterday.
The Norfolk-born England scrum-half, 27, spoke about the strength of character his brother and team-mate – who is captain at Leicester Tigers – has shown to support his wife, Tiffany.
“My brother is an incredible person,” Ben said. “When you see him play you see one per cent of it. It is his team-mates and people like myself who see it every day and you see what he does around the club and how he conducts himself and approaches situations like he is dealing with.
“And you really get a feel of just how incredible he is. Leadership isn’t just someone who gives direction on the pitch, it has to be so much more than that and he is that. He’s been amazing.
“Everyone deals with things differently and Tom has been remarkable in the way he has gone about it. Being able to play rugby has helped him. To give all his time at home, he needs to release after that built-up tension he can come in and be Tom, feel refreshed and then go home and give his focus to his family.”
Ben missed the drawn series in New Zealand and, along with 30-year-old Tom, is preparing for a fresh approach at Leicester under returning head coach Matt O’Connor – with new signings including England colleagues George Ford and Jonny May.
The former Holt juniors have spent their entire careers with Tigers and Ben hopes one upside of missing the tour is that he will be fresh for the season’s start, unlike when they both toured Australia with the Lions in 2013.
“It was basically two seasons rolled into one and I really found that tough,” Youngs reflected, speaking to the Daily Telegraph.
“Now I have had a great pre-season, I am fully rested and excited to hopefully hit some form.”
Leicester begin their Premiership season at home to Bath on Sunday, September 3.