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The Norfolk roots of England rugby star Ben Youngs


Rugby union player Ben Youngs in Leicester strip with ball
Ben Youngs in action (pic credit: Tiger Images)

The silky smooth running and passing skills of England’s second most-capped rugby union star Ben Youngs were honed in North Norfolk.  He followed in the footsteps of his father, Nick Youngs, a Norfolk farmer who also played scrum-half for England 35 years ago.


Benjamin Ryder Youngs learnt to play rugby in North Norfolk with his father and older brother probably in the back garden of their Aylsham home 17 miles from Blakeney.


His father, former England player Nick Youngs, must have been a major influence as both his sons, Ben and his brother Tom, later played for England.


Dad Nick won six England caps in 1983-84 and played for Bedford. Brother Tom was a centre who moved into the forwards and played hooker for England 26 times. He also plays for Leicester Tigers where he's captain.


Father and his two sons have the rare distinction of all starting in matches for England which beat the All Blacks – in 1983, 2012 and 2019.


Some of Ben’s rugby achievements to date include:

* playing scrum-half  for England 97 times as of February 2020 - a record for a back

* in 2019 he became England's most capped scrum half

* playing in the 2019 World Cup Final where England were runners-up

* in 2007, at the age of 17, he became Leicester's youngest player used in a league match when he came off the bench against Bristol

* Youngs has played for England U-16, U-18 and in March 2008 was a member of the England under-20 team which won the grand slam

* he has toured with the British and Irish Lions twice and played for Leicester Tigers more than 200 times

* he has scored 14 tries for England

* he is England's second most-capped player after Jason Leonard who won 114 caps. Ben is the most capped scrum-half with 97 caps and still counting.


Ben is aged 30 and his clever kicks and quick passing are a hallmark of his game. He went to Gresham’s School in Holt, six miles from Blakeney, where past pupils include the inventor Sir James Dyson. Ben played rugby for the school as well as both Holt and North Walsham Rugby Clubs.

He is married to a Norfolk girl Charlotte and they have two young children. They married in 2015.


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