Ben Youngs celebrates 'special moment' becoming England's most-capped player
- Credit: PA
A day that will 'live long in the memory' is how Norfolk's Ben Youngs described England's Six Nations victory against Wales, at which he became the national side's most-capped player.
Saturday's crowd at Twickenham including members of his own family and the Royal family gave the 32-year-old a standing ovation as he took the pitch for England for the 115th time - once more than the previous record holder, Jason Leonard.
Speaking after the match in which England held off a concerted Wales fightback to win 23-19, the half-scrum player said: "It's a great day, for my family, obviously for me as well. It's a refection of them, without their support you can't do what you do.
"I do what I love and I'm blessed to do it and today was no different. It was a special day. To have the family in the crowd and witness that will live long in the memory."
Youngs grew up on his family's farm near Aylsham where as a child, he and brother Ben played rugby on a makeshift pitch.
The sport is in the family's blood - their dad Nick played for Leicester Tigers and won six England caps in the early 1980s and Tom has won 28 caps for the national side.
In his younger years Ben and Tom played rugby for Holt and Grehsam's School, which they attended.
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Old school magazines show Ben's talent was clear from his early years.
Reporting on the U14A team at the time, one coach said: “Ben has the speed necessary to cut open defences and scored many a try using his twinkling feet. It must also be said that Ben has a feel for the game, which means that he usually makes the correct decisions.”
Youngs had a spell with North Walsham before moving to Leicester Tigers and then on to the international arena.
In 2015 he married Charlotte Youngs, née Beardshaw, who is also from Norfolk and works as a cosmetic nurse. They have a son, Boris, and a daughter, Billie.
Ben is the youngest of 28 first cousins, and he has said all of them have some sort of nickname - his is Lenny. He said in a 2020 interview the celebrity he would most like to be stuck in a lift with was Tom Hanks, and if he could have one superpower it would be "reading people's minds" but said he would start with the family dog.
Ben Youngs: Top of his game
Youngs’ two appearances for the British and Irish Lions mean Saturday’s outing lifts him to 117 international caps overall and into the top 25 of the all-time world list.
Youngs has won four Six Nations titles with England, in 2011, the grand slam of 2016, 2017 and 2020.
He appeared in every match in those triumphant campaigns, starting all but four, and capped the 2020 tournament with two tries in the title-clinching win over Italy on his 100th England appearance.
He also made 17 appearances with 15 starts in England’s world record-equalling 18-game winning run from 2015 to 2017, which included that 2016 slam.
He and England were unable to add the 2019 World Cup to their list of honours, though, losing 32-12 in the final to South Africa.