Norfolk’s Youngs brothers ready to roar for the British and Irish Lions

Aylsham-bred brothers Ben, left, and Tom Youngs can be an inspiration to another generation in Norfo

Aylsham-bred brothers Ben, left, and Tom Youngs can be an inspiration to another generation in Norfolk. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Proud dad Nick Youngs admitted yesterday it was taking time to sink in after sons Tom and Ben were both included in the British and Irish Lions squad for this weekend's epic first test match against Australia.

The Aylsham-bred Leicester Tigers' duo have made the final cut as Warren Gatland's class of 2013 aim for a first series win against a southern hemisphere power since 1997.

Hooker Tom edged out Welsh rival Richard Hibbard to start in the front row whilst scrum-half Ben has been named on the replacements' bench for Saturday's opening collision in Brisbane.

Parents Nick and Patricia travelled Down Under at the start of the tour and the former England and Tigers' number nine is confident the pair will relish the high stakes occasion.

'It is amazing really,' said Nick, speaking from Australia. 'I remember when they both played for Leicester Tigers and I was so proud that I thought it couldn't get any better. Then of course they went on to play for England and you feel that is unreal, but I can't really put into words now what it means to be involved with the Lions. 'My wife is on a high. We are trying to take things in and it is hard to describe how we are feeling. We are simply over the moon. I am so happy. I briefly spoke to Tom after the announcement and just told him 'Well done' and what an absolutely awesome achievement. What a year he has had. It has been incredible and he is on a wave and we don't want it to crash.'

Tom is joined in the starting XV by fit-again Welsh wing George North, who was born in King's Lynn before moving back to Principality. Dad Nick believes the sporting success of the two Holt youth products can act as an inspiration to youngsters in Norfolk who want to follow in their talented footsteps.

'Norfolk is not re-known for its rugby but we can produce a player from anywhere,' he said. 'It is unbelievable. It shows that anyone can pull on a shirt and it doesn't matter where you come from. If you are dedicated and you work hard who knows? Obviously Leicester have a well-established link in the county and it shows there is a path to the professional game. Anyone in Norfolk who is good enough can get to the top because they will get the opportunity. It is not about living in the right area of the country.

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'I would hope both Tom and Nick could perhaps be an inspiration for young people in Norfolk and maybe role models - I am sure they would like to be seen in that way. If what they are doing inspires someone to take up rugby after watching them play for the Lions on the biggest stage in the sport then brilliant. That is what it's all about – getting children interested in sport.'

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