Tom Youngs focused on forcing an England return after ‘good conversation’ with Eddie Jones
Forcing his way back into the England squad will be a major focus for Tom Youngs when he steps up his recovery from back surgery this summer.
The Leicester Tigers forward was back home in Norfolk along with younger brother Ben to officially open a new £500,000 extension to the clubhouse at Holt RFC, where they both played as juniors.
The 29-year-old hooker had his Aviva Premiership season brought to an early end by minor surgery on a back problem, following hot on the heels of missing out on the England squad for the Six Nations.
'The back's healing up really, really well. I've just started on my rehab again and flying through it to be fair,' Youngs said during his return to Bridge Road.
'I'll be fit for pre-season, for about July time really and then I'll be ready for the beginning of the season.
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'It's a shame to miss the back end of the season with the (Premiership) semi-finals and things like that but there you go, that's just what happens sometimes and you've just got to get on with it.'
Once that injury issue is overcome the former Gresham's School pupil can set his sights on trying to add to his 28 international caps – and rejoin Ben in the squad which won England's first Grand Slam in 13 years.
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'You do refresh your body and mind up,' the Cawston-born British & Irish Lions star continued. 'I've gone away, really thought about my game, what I want to improve and I've had a good conversation with Eddie (Jones) about what I've got to improve on to get back in the England squad.
'So there's always bits you're looking at, you're never the finished article, so I've had a good look at myself and set some new goals for next season and I'm looking forward to executing them next season and getting into pre-season and working really hard.'
The Australian coach has been a revelation since taking over from Stuart Lancaster following England's elimination at the group stage of their home World Cup last autumn.
A former hooker himself, Jones dropped Youngs in favour of Exeter's rising star Luke Cowan-Dickie for the Six Nations.
The former Japan coach also made Dylan Hartley his captain, with Youngs having started all of England's games during the World Cup after Hartley had been left out by Lancaster due to poor discipline.
'He's done fantastically well and obviously I just want to get back in and play for England,' Youngs said of Jones.'But first of all get fit, play for Tigers, play well there and hopefully that will lead to getting back in.'
With England staying on the back burner for now, Youngs was able to get back to Norfolk and help officially open Holt's new clubhouse extension alongside Ben and their father, Nick, who also played for England, on Sunday.
'I love coming back here, seeing the people up here and feel very much at home up here, have a few beers and a good chinwag.' Tom added.
'It's just good to have a catch up and get away from it all a bit.'
For more on Holt RFC's clubhouse extension, and Ben Youngs' hopes for England's summer tour to Australia, see the rugby pages in Friday's EDP or Evening News