Tom Youngs hailed as ‘world class’ after signing new contract with Leicester Tigers
- Credit: PA
Norfolk rugby star Tom Youngs has signed a new long-term contract with Leicester Tigers, alongside fellow front-row forwards Dan Cole and Marcos Ayerza.
The 27-year-old former Holt and North Walsham junior player is currently making his way back from a shoulder injury as he looks to return to the England squad for the Six Nations in February.
The hooker picked up the injury in September and did not return to action until the end of November, seeing him miss all of England's autumn internationals.
That followed Youngs missing the summer tour of New Zealand due to family reasons, leaving him on 17 England caps since the end of last season's Six Nations.
After two seasons of rapid success – as the winner of the Aviva Premiership Player of the Year award in 2013, soon followed by being a key part of the victorious British & Irish Lions tour of Australia – Youngs has had to remain patient.
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But after his return to fitness, Youngs played a big part in Leicester's 25-21 defeat of reigning European champions Toulon at Welford Road in the Champions Cup.
Leicester director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, was delighted to confirm the new contracts for Youngs, his England colleague Cole and Italy international Ayerza.
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'It is great news for us that Marcos, Tom and Dan have all agreed new contracts with the club,' Cockerill said. 'They are all genuine world-class players in key positions in the team and they are important parts of the senior core to the squad.
'Tom and Dan know all about the club, coming through the academy here to establish themselves in the first-team squad, and Leicester has been home to Marcos for the last eight years.
'They were all very keen to stay and we were very keen to keep them here for the long term, so I'm delighted we have come to an agreement.'
Youngs has played over 80 games for Leicester, having re-trained from being a centre when he was younger. He has followed in the footsteps of his father, Nick, who lives near Aylsham, and younger brother Ben in being capped for England.
Cockerill, speaking to his club's official website, added: 'We have a good crop of front-rowers who work well together and they help to get the best out of each other.
'Marcos, Tom and Dan, with their attitude to training and playing, and their experience at the top levels of the game, play a massive role in that.'