Benjamin Ryder Youngs (born 5 September 1989) is an English professional rugby union player who plays as a scrum-half for Leicester Tigers and England. In 2019 he became England's most capped scrum-half.
|Birth name||Benjamin Ryder Youngs|
|Date of birth||5 September 1989|
|Place of birth||Aylsham, England|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (14 st 7 lb; 203 lb)|
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College
|Notable relative(s)||Nick Youngs (father)|
Tom Youngs (brother)
|Rugby union career|
Benjamin 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 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.
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 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.
He 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.
British & Irish Lions
In April 2013, he 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.
- As of 20 March 2021
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