Speculation linking Ben Youngs with Leicester Tigers exit is dismissed
- Credit: PA
Speculation about Ben Youngs' future with Leicester Tigers has been dismissed by director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
Leicester's big-spending Aviva Premiership rivals Bath are reported to be interested in signing the Norfolk-born scrum-half, whose contract is due to expire next summer.
The 26-year-old has been capped 52 times by England and has been with Leicester since being recruited as a teenager, when he played junior rugby for Holt and North Walsham.
Cockerill insisted Youngs would remain at Welford Road after Sunday's 21-11 home victory over Bath, saying: 'They might be interested in him but Ben Youngs loves playing for this club.
'His dad (Nick) has played here and his brother (Tom) plays here. Mine and Aaron's (Mauger, head coach) discussions with him have all been very positive.
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'He wants to see how we are building and guys like Aaron and Matt Toomua coming in are central to that.
'More players will also come into the squad and make us better moving forward.
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'We want the likes of Ben Youngs and Ed Slater (also out of contract next summer) to stay here. It's their club.'
Youngs started three of England's matches during the recent World Cup failure under Stuart Lancaster, with an ankle problem interrupting his tournament.
The Norwich born half-back has made 168 Tigers appearances since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2007, often playing alongside his older brother.
Ben took to Twitter (@BenYoungs09) following the victory over Bath to say: 'Pleased to win today against a quality team. Weather was brutal I thought my brother was outstanding. Well done @EdSlater on 100 appearances.'
Cockerill said Leicester's guts earned them their 178th win out of 210 home Premiership matches, thanks to a late try from England prop Dan Cole – just his second in six and a half years at the club.
The 74th-minute try from a driving line-out, given by the TMO, clinched an improbable victory for Leicester who had been outplayed for much of the match.
He said: 'I am delighted for the players that they found a way to win because we played pretty poorly at times. But our guts, attitude and trust got us over the finishing line.'