Youngs rules himself out of Lions tour

Ben Youngs scored tries towards Wales and Ireland on this 12 months’s Six Nations

England scrum-half Ben Youngs has withdrawn from competition for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa as a result of of household causes.

Youngs was one of greater than 50 gamers to obtain an e mail from the Lions administration final week, indicating he was into consideration for choice.

But the 31-year-old has made the choice to remain at house along with his household this summer season.

“Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I’ll never know,” he mentioned.

Youngs, chatting with the Mail on Sunday, added: “I’ve got two young children and my wife is heavily pregnant with the third. This summer I’ve got an opportunity to be with my family and my kids.

“I’ve at all times cherished the Lions. I’ll be cheering them on, and I want everybody concerned a wholesome and profitable tour.”

The players who received the email were asked whether they would be willing to travel to South Africa if selected, with the tour set to take place under strict coronavirus ‘bubble’ protocols.

Youngs is understood to be the only player in selection contention to have made himself unavailable.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland confirms his 36-man touring party on Thursday. Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones is the favourite to be named tour captain, with England’s Maro Itoje the other leading contender.

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