Tom Youngs named new club captain of Leicester Tigers
- Credit: PA
Leicester Tigers have named Norfolk's Tom Youngs as their new club captain ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season.
The 29-year-old England international missed the closing months of last season after minor back surgery but is now gearing up for a fresh start.
That follows a roller-coaster season for the former Holt and North Walsham junior, who started all of England's pool matches in last autumn's unsuccessful home World Cup campaign and was then dropped by new head coach Eddie Jones ahead of the Six Nations.
The hooker has been handed the boost of the captain's armband at Welford Road though and is thrilled to have been chosen.
'I am immensely proud to be club captain of the Tigers. It is without a doubt one of the highest things I have achieved in the game,' the former Gresham's School pupil said.
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'I am a Leicester Tiger born and bred, I love the club and everything it stands for. To be captain is a huge honour and I'm very pleased to be given the opportunity.
'I'm looking forward to being able to lead the boys and doing whatever I can to help the club in competing for major honours.'
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The Norwich-born forward made his 100th appearance for Tigers in a win at Worcester last December, having progressed through the club's academy ranks, and captained the club for the first time in a home win over Northampton Saints in January.
Originally a centre capped by England at under-20 level, Youngs moved to the front row in 2009 and went on to win the Premiership Player of the Year award in 2013.
He has earned 22 international caps, as well as three with the British & Irish Lions on their triumphant tour of Australia in 2013.
Despite enduring a tough last season, Youngs retains the full confidence of Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill, who still believes Youngs is a 'world class' asset to his club.
'Tom is a Leicester man through and through, and has special links with the club where his father (Nick) and brother (Ben) have also played,' Cockerill told Leicester's official website.
'He is a world class player who leads by example on the field and he shows all the attributes of a true Leicester player.
'I'm delighted he has accepted the club captaincy and we're looking forward to seeing a strong season from him and from the team.
'Tom is supported by a good strong group of leaders within the squad, including Ed Slater who has done an excellent job as club captain over the last couple of seasons, and experienced players like Mathew Tait, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Owen Williams and Freddie Burns.'
• Ben Youngs took time out from his summer break to lead a training session at North Walsham last week.
The scrum-half, who played a major role as England pulled off an impressive whitewash during their tour of Australia last month, played junior rugby for the Vikings and for Holt.