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Ben Youngs commits to 19th season at Leicester Tigers

By Josh Raisey
Ben Youngs scores for Leicester - PA

Leicester Tigers have continued their drive to secure players for next season by a tying down scrum-half Ben Youngs for a 19th season at Welford Road.

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The 34-year-old followed academy products George Martin and Joe Heyes in putting pen to paper to continue his legendary career in the Midlands.

While Youngs is at the other end of his career to Martin and Heyes, the positive for Leicester is that they will benefit from his availability throughout the season. Having retired from Test rugby at the end of the World Cup, the 2024/25 campaign will be the first time in well over a decade that England’s most capped player will be able to focus solely on the Tigers all year.

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The 127-cap England international made his Premiership debut in 2007 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest player to do so at the time, and has gone on to play over 300 games for the Tigers, becoming a legend in the process.

After the new deal was announced, Youngs said: “Coming home from the World Cup, you could sense there was a great energy in the club. I have credit Dan and his staff for that and it’s just something I want to continue to be a part of.

“It goes without saying, this club means the world to me and my family so I’m just happy to be able to contribute any way I can, whether it’s playing or helping to guide the young lads through.”

Head coach Dan McKellar said: “From day one, Ben has been terrific to work with and it’s great that he’s agreed to extend his time at the club.”

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“His leadership and commitment to the club is something that you never doubt, and he’s been a big part in us building momentum the last couple of months.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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