England rugby star Ben Youngs switches sports at Aylsham training session

One of the rising stars of English rugby showed his skills with the wrong shaped ball as he lent a helping foot at a women's football training session.

Ben Youngs has shot to fame in recent months as the first-choice scrum-half in Martin Johnson's rugby union Six Nations side.

On Tuesday evening 21-year-old Youngs, who comes from Aylsham and went to Gresham's School at Holt, visited Aylsham Football Club at the recreation ground.

One of the reasons for the visit was for Youngs to show his support for his dad Nick's scheme to build 250 new homes on a 40-acre site to the west of St Michael's Hospital in the town.

The proposal includes gifting 20 acres on Cawston Road to be used by Aylsham FC and other community organisations and �500,000 to kick-start the development of facilities.

On Tuesday evening, Youngs junior said: 'It's important to encourage the community to come down and play sport. It's about giving back to the community and giving what a town like Aylsham deserves.'

Nick Youngs, a former England rugby international who was watching the training session, said: 'We're a sporting family so we're very passionate about this proposal. It's about giving young people a chance, teaching them an important work ethic and encouraging them to play sport.'

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Aylsham FC chairman Ian Potter said: 'The Cawston Road site is an ideal location for the club.'

The scheme has been backed by Aylsham Town Council, but has split opinion in the town, with a group of householders living near the proposed Youngs site airing a long list of concerns about the scheme during a recent meeting with Broadland MP Keith Simpson.

A petition objecting to the plans had been signed by 125 people who either live near the application site or would be within earshot of it.