Norfolk rugby star called into England's Six Nations squad

Norfolk prospect Ben Youngs continued his breathtaking climb up the international rugby ladder yesterday when he was promoted to the senior England squad for the forthcoming RBS Six Nations Championship.

Norfolk prospect Ben Youngs continued his breathtaking climb up the international rugby ladder yesterday when he was promoted to the senior England squad for the forthcoming RBS Six Nations Championship.

The Leicester scrum-half, who had been originally selected for the up-coming England Saxon matches despite a widespread call for him to be given a chance in the Six Nations, was added to Martin Johnson's pre-tournament training camp in Portugal as cover for clubmate Harry Ellis, who is battling a chronic knee problem.

Youngs, whose father Nick won six full England caps in the 1980s, has already made a huge impression in the international arena at under-16, under-18 and sevens level.

Still only 20, he has spectacularly taken the opportunity the injury to Ellis has offered him at Leicester this season and was nominated as Guiness Premiership young player of the year for 2009.


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The precocious talent of the Norwich-born and North Norfolk raised youngster first emerged at senior level when he became Tigers' youngest-ever league player on his debut in April 2007. He scored two tries on his debut at the World Junior Under-20 Championships a year later.

Despite yesterday's elevation to the full squad the former Gresham's School pupil will return to join the England Saxons in time for Sunday's game against Ireland A.

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Johnson has also called for Worcester loose-head prop Matt Mullen and Leicester tight-head Dan Cole as replacements for injured front-row pair Andrew Sheridan and Julian White along with the loose-forward pair of Wasps No 8 Dan Ward-Smith and Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw.

Johnson confirmed that Steve Borthwick had been retained as England captain soon after the squad arrived in Portugal yesterday.

The Saracens lock has captained England in every Test since Johnson took charge of the national team ahead of the 2008 autumn internationals.

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