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Tom Youngs: Leicester Tigers' former England hooker, 35, retires

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Published in Rugby
Wednesday, 27 April 2022 07:12

Leicester Tigers' former England hooker Tom Young has retired from professional rugby with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old took indefinite leave from the club in October to care for his ill wife and last featured for Tigers in the Premiership last season.

He played 215 games for Leicester, won 28 England caps and played in three British and Irish Lions Tests in 2013.

"I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have," Youngs said.

The son of former England scrum-half Nick Youngs, Youngs played the majority of his career alongside brother Ben, who recently became England's most capped men's player.

Tom's wife Tiffany was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Her illness saw him pull out of England's tour of New Zealand that summer so he could care for her.

He returned to the international scene the following year, winning the last of his England caps in October 2015 at the Rugby World Cup.

"To my wife Tiff and daughter Maisie, I am lucky to have you alongside me and would not be where I am without you," Youngs said. "Thank you both."

'No regrets'

Youngs started his career with Tigers as a centre in 2006 before moving into the front row and honing his skills as a hooker with Nottingham in the Championship for two seasons from 2009.

He returned to Leicester for the 2011-12 season, won his first England cap in November 2012 and went on to feature for the Lions in their series victory in Australia the following year.

Youngs led Tigers on 98 occasions, second only to Martin Johnson on the club's all-time list of captains.

He was part of the side that won the Premiership title in 2013 - a season when he was also named Premiership Player of the Year - and the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2017.

Youngs said he "always planned around this season being my last" and is "comfortable with the timing of it now".

"I have no regrets and, looking back, am proud of what I have achieved at the only club I ever wanted to play for," he added.

"It was never easy, but I loved that. I think it suited me, I think the person I am and wanted to be was helped by doing it my way."

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