England scrum-half Ben Youngs DRAWS OFF this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa

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England scrum-half Ben Youngs DRAWS OFF this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa with a 31-year-old looking to spend time with his family

  • English Ben Youngs has withdrawn from this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa
  • Scrum-half wants to spend time with their family with a third child on the way
  • Youngs would have been the most experienced in Warren Gatland’s squad
  • Gatland calls his tour company on Thursday, although there is no clear number 9

English scrum half Ben Youngs has withdrawn from this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa.

The 31-year-old received a save-the-date letter from Warren Gatland, but then shut herself out.

With 110 caps to his name, Youngs would have been the most experienced player of the 36-man squad.

English scrum half Ben Youngs has withdrawn from this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa

Youngs is said to have been the most experienced in Warren Gatland's 36-man team

Youngs is said to have been the most experienced in Warren Gatland’s 36-man team

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

“Whether or not I would have made it to the last cut, I’ll never know,” he said.

‘I have two young children and my wife is heavily pregnant with the third. This summer I have the opportunity to be with my family and my children.

‘I’ve always loved the lions. I will encourage them and wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour.

However, the 31-year-old has opted to spend more time with his family this summer

However, the 31-year-old has opted to spend more time with his family this summer

“It’s not a decision I made lightly, but it’s the best decision for my family.”

Gatland will name his touring party on Thursday, although there is no leading candidate to fill the number 9 jersey.

Save-the-date letters were sent to over 50 players, with non-internationals Danny Care and Ben Spencer included as one of the scrum halves of the battle.

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