Ben Youngs PULLS OUT of this summer's Lions tour of South Africa

England scrum-half Ben Youngs PULLS OUT of this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa with 31-year-old wanting to spend the time with his family

  • England’s Ben Youngs has pulled out of this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa
  • Scrum-half wants to spend the time with his family with a third child on the way
  • Youngs would have been the most experienced back in Warren Gatland’s squad
  • Gatland will name his touring party on Thursday, although there is no clear No9

England scrum-half Ben Youngs has pulled out of this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa.

The 31-year-old received a save-the-date letter from Warren Gatland but subsequently ruled himself out of contention.

With 110 international caps to his name, Youngs would have been the most experienced back in the 36-man squad.

England scrum-half Ben Youngs has pulled out of this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa

However, he told Sportsmail that he has made the tough decision so he can spend the time with his family, as he has a third child on the way.

‘Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I’ll never know,’ he said.

‘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 have always loved the Lions. I’ll be cheering them on, and I wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour.

Youngs (L) would have been the most experienced back in Warren Gatland’s party this summer

‘It’s not a decision that I’ve taken lightly, but it’s the best decision for my family.’

Gatland will name his touring party on Thursday, although there is no front-running candidate to fill the No 9 jersey.

Save-the-date letters were sent to more than 50 players, with non-internationals Danny Care and Ben Spencer understood to be among the scrum-halves in contention.


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