Ben Youngs joins brother Tom in Lions’ starting line up for crucial second Test against Australia
- Credit: PA
Aylsham brothers Ben and Tom Youngs will face Australia in Melbourne this Saturday as the British and Irish Lions aim to clinch a first series win since 1997.
Leicester scrum-half Ben joins his older sibling in Warren Gatland's starting XV for the crunch match after replacing Welsh rival Mike Phillips at number nine.
The Norfolk boys will become the first brothers to start a Lions' Test match since Scott and Gavin Hastings more than 20 years ago as the Lions look to close out the three-match series following last weekend's epic 23-21 win over the Wallabies.
Ben pressed his claims for inclusion with a virtuoso try in the midweek 35-0 rout over Melbourne Rebels.
The 23-year-old admits it will be a special occasion to line up in such a huge game alongside his brother.
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'All I want to do is go out there and play well and hopefully win the game and the series and then we can come off together and really treasure it,' said Ben. 'I'm just trying to focus on the game now and not get too distracted by all the things that go with it. I think we are in a great position and it is just wonderful to be part of this great tour. To now have the opportunity to run out this weekend and play a part will be a moment to remember.'
Head coach Gatland confirmed Phillips was 'fit and available', although the Welshman - who started all three Tests in South Africa - has not been able to take a full part in training with a knee injury that also hindered him in the first Test.
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'The decision was to rest him this week,' Gatland explained. 'He is potentially an important component for next week. Given the quality of the nines we have got, all of them have done a great job for us. We felt it was prudent to make sure he was 100% fit for next week.'
Tommy Bowe returns after fracturing his hand earlier in the tour in the second of five changes from the Brisbane first Test win. The Irishman replaces Alex Cuthbert on the wing. Flanker Dan Lydiate also comes in, with Tom Croft dropping to the bench whilst English forwards Geoff Parling and Mako Vunipola step in for the injured Paul O'Connell and Alex Corbisiero.