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Ben Youngs
Ben Youngs.jpg
Youngs representing Leicester Tigers during the Heineken Cup
Full name Benjamin Ryder Youngs
Date of birth (1989-09-05) 5 September 1989 (age 34)
Place of birth Aylsham, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 92 kg (203 lb; 14 st 7 lb)
School Gresham's School
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College
Notable relative(s) Nick Youngs (father)
Tom Youngs (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Current team Leicester Tigers
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2006– Leicester Tigers 307 (230)
Correct as of 10 December 2023
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2009 England U20 15 (20)
2010 England Saxons 1 (0)
2010–2023 England 127 (100)
2013 British & Irish Lions 2 (0)
Correct as of 29 October 2023

Benjamin Ryder Youngs (born 5 September 1989) is an English professional rugby union player who plays as a scrum-half for Premiership Rugby club Leicester Tigers, between 2010 and 2023 he played a record 127 times for the England national team.

He made his club debut at 17 in 2007 and in 2010 made his debut for England; in 2022 he became England men’s most capped player with 115 appearances subsequently earning 127 in total. He started the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final and toured Australia with the Lions in 2013. Youngs has been a Premiership Rugby champion five times, winning in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 and in 2022.

Early life

Youngs was born 5 September 1989 in Aylsham, Norfolk, England. His older brother Tom Youngs is also a rugby player, for Leicester Tigers as a hooker. His father Nick Youngs played scrum-half for both Leicester and England.

Youngs is married to Charlotte. They have two children, son Boris and daughter Billie.

Club career

Youngs made his Leicester Tigers first team début on 11 February 2007 in a friendly match against Argentina at Welford Road, the match marked Graham Rowntree's final Leicester appearance. On 24 April 2007 at the age of 17 years and 231 days he became Leicester's youngest ever player used in a league match when he came off the bench against Bristol. Later that season, he played in the final of the 2006–07 Guinness Premiership.

Youngs played 10 games for Leicester in the 2007–08 season, principally whilst Harry Ellis was injured. Despite starting only 2 games, but featuring in 17, Youngs finished third in the 2008–09 Guinness Premiership Discovery of the Season award and won the club's player's young player of the year award.

Youngs was instrumental in Leicester's 22–17 defeat of the Springboks in a tour match on 6 November 2009 kicking 17 points. He was able to establish himself as first choice in 2009–10 season starting 23 games. In February 2010, Youngs signed a new contract. His teammates voted him Leicester Tigers Player of the Season for 2009/10. In a season littered with awards, he also picked up the Landrover Discovery of the Season award. He crowned off the season by playing in the 2009–10 Guinness Premiership final victory over Saracens, scoring a try in the process.

Youngs has also played in losing Premiership finals in 2011 and 2012, as well as starting in the 2013 final where Leicester defeated Northampton to seal their 10th English championship.

On 8 April 2017 in a game against Bath at Twickenham Youngs made his 200th appearance for Leicester. Following Leicester's home game with Newcastle Youngs was presented with an engraved silver picture frame in recognition of the feat. Youngs made his 250th appearance for Leicester Tigers on 13 September 2020 in a match against Northampton Saints played at an empty Welford Road Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Youngs scored a try in a 28–24 win for Leicester.

Youngs played as a replacement in the 2022 Premiership Rugby final as Tigers beat Saracens 15-12.

International career


Youngs has played for England U-16, U-18 and in March 2008 was a member of the England under-20 team that won the grand slam. Later that month, Youngs made his debut for the England Sevens team at the Hong Kong sevens. Youngs played in the final of both the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship. and 2009 IRB Junior World Championship. He was selected for the revised England Saxons Squad on 13 January 2010, and upgraded to the revised Senior Squad as injury cover for Harry Ellis on 25 January 2010. Later that month, he made his debut for the England Saxons, against Ireland A.

Youngs made his senior England debut as a substitute on the wing for the injured Ugo Monye in the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland on 13 March 2010, and was an unused replacement in the match against France. He continued as part of the senior squad on their tour of Australia, and played in both Test matches.

Youngs made his first international start in England's 21 – 20 win over Australia in Sydney, on 19 June 2010. He played an important role in improving the England gameplan in the game, and scored a solo try in the first half. On 13 November 2010, Youngs was awarded man of the match award for his outstanding performance against Australia. Youngs continued to be a steadfast member of the England squad, including call ups for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

After Eddie Jones replaced Stuart Lancaster as England head coach after the 2015 RWC, Youngs continued to play a crucial role in the England squad, being one of two ever-present scrum-halves, along with Danny Care. Youngs played in all but one (vs Uruguay) of England's record-equaling run of 18 consecutive wins, starting 15 of them.

This run included the 2016 Grand Slam achieved through a win against the French in Paris, avenging the defeat to Ireland in a match of similar importance in 2011, in addition to being part of the side that secured a 3-0 series triumph against Australia only a couple of months after the tournament ended. Later in the year, he put in some of his most memorable performances against South Africa and again against Australia in that year's Autumn Internationals, scoring and assisting several tries using his trademark show-and-go off the base of a ruck.

Youngs was part of further Six Nations victories in 2017 and 2020, scoring two tries in the 2020 title decider against Italy to mark his 100th cap in style. Youngs is only the second Englishman to reach this number after Jason Leonard, and immediately went on to win a further four caps in the inaugural Amazon Autumn Nations Cup as England secured their second piece of silverware of the year. Youngs has said that the enforced break from rugby due to the Coronavirus crisis left him refreshed and recharged, and has stated his aim is to be a part of the England team for the 2023 World Cup in France, which would mark his fourth such tournament having been a part of the 2011, 2015 and 2019 squads.

As of 26 February 2022, Youngs became England's most capped international player, surpassing Jason Leonard's record of 114 caps.

On 7 August 2023, Youngs was named in England's squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. He announced his retirement shortly before winning his 127th cap against Argentina in the third place playoff.

British & Irish Lions

In April 2013, Youngs was announced as one of three scrum-halves for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia alongside Mike Phillips and Conor Murray. He made 2 capped appearances, off the bench for the first test in Brisbane, and then starting the second test in Melbourne alongside his brother Tom Youngs. He also made uncapped appearances against 5 provincial sides, scoring 2 tries.

Youngs was again selected as one of the three scrum-halves in April 2017 for the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, alongside previous tourist Conor Murray and newcomer Rhys Webb, with Leicester Tigers teammate Dan Cole also being selected again. However, on 6 May 2017, Youngs withdrew himself from the tour party due to family reasons and was replaced by Scotland international Greig Laidlaw.

Career statistics

List of international tries

Try Opposing team Location Venue Competition Date Result Score
1  Australia Sydney, Australia ANZ Stadium 19 June 2010 Win 21 – 20
2  Argentina Dunedin, New Zealand Forsyth Barr Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup 10 September 2011 Win 13 – 9
3  Romania Dunedin, New Zealand Forsyth Barr Stadium 2011 Rugby World Cup 24 September 2011 Win 67 – 3
4  Ireland London, England Twickenham Stadium 2012 Six Nations 17 March 2012 Win 30 – 9
5  South Africa Johannesburg, South Africa Ellis Park Stadium 16 June 2012 Loss 27 – 36
7  Italy London, England Twickenham Stadium 2015 Six Nations 14 February 2015 Win 47 – 17
8  France London, England Twickenham Stadium 2015 Six Nations 21 March 2015 Win 55 – 35
10  Wales London, England Twickenham Stadium 29 May 2016 Win 27 – 13
11  Australia London, England Twickenham Stadium 2016 Autumn Internationals 3 December 2016 Win 37 – 21
12  Wales Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2017 Six Nations 11 February 2017 Win 21 – 16
13  Italy Newcastle upon Tyne, England St James's Park 6 September 2019 Win 37 – 0
14  Argentina Tokyo, Japan Ajinomoto Stadium 2019 Rugby World Cup 5 October 2019 Win 39 – 10
15  Italy Rome, Italy Stadio Olimpico 2020 Six Nations 31 October 2020 Win 34 – 5
17  Wales Cardiff, Wales Millennium Stadium 2021 Six Nations 27 February 2021 Loss 24 – 40
18  Ireland Dublin, Ireland Aviva Stadium 2021 Six Nations 20 March 2021 Loss 18 – 32
19  Tonga London, England Twickenham Stadium 2021 Autumn Internationals 6 November 2021 Win 69 – 3


See also

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