Ben Youngs named in British & Irish Lions squad for summer tour of New Zealand
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
New Zealand awaits for Norfolk star Ben Youngs after the scrum-half was named in the British & Irish Lions squad for this summer's tour.
The 27-year-old former Gresham's School pupil has retained his place in the Lions squad, having been part of the successful tour of Australia four years ago.
Youngs has played a pivotal part in England's success under Eddie Jones, winning the last two Six Nations titles, and that has seen head coach Warren Gatland name the Leicester Tigers stalwart in his touring party again.
The Lions will take in seven tour matches while in New Zealand before finally clashing with world champions the All Blacks in three Tests, with the first tour match on Saturday, June 3 and the final Test on Saturday, July 8, with all matches at 8.35am UK time.
The former Holt and North Walsham junior is one of three scrum-halves named in the squad, alongside Ireland's Connor Murray and Wales's Rhys Webb.
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Another Norfolk-born player is in the squad, with Wales winger George North retaining his Lions place. The Northampton Saints star was born in King's Lynn but moved away with his family as a youngster.
Wales lock Sam Warburton will again captain the Lions in the southern hemisphere, despite relinquishing the Welsh armband to Alun Wyn Jones ahead of this year's Six Nations despite a current knee injury.
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England captain Dylan Hartley was left out, with England team-mate Jamie George picked ahead of him alongside the two other hookers, Ireland captain Rory Best and Wales's Ken Owens.
The bulk of the 41-man squad is made up by 16 England players, with 12 from Wales, 11 from Ireland and just two from Scotland, with Six Nations player of the tournament Stuart Hogg joined by fellow Glasgow back Tommy Seymour in the squad.
Backs: Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben T'eo (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England).
Forwards: Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Billy Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt).
Lions itinerary (all 8.35am UK time)
Sat, June 3 – Provincial Union XV
Weds, June 7 – Blues
Sat, June 10 – Crusaders
Tues, June 13 – Highlanders
Sat, June 17 – Maori All Blacks
Tues, June 20 – Chiefs
Sat, June 24 – New Zealand
Tues, June 27 – Hurricanes
Sat, July 1 – New Zealand
Sat, July 8 – New Zealand