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Retiring Ben Youngs names the proudest moment of his England career

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ben Youngs has named his proudest moment in the England shirt. First capped in March 2010, the 34-year-old is set to win his 127th cap on Friday night when he plays his last Test match.

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Looking back on his career as the most capped men’s English player of all time, he suggested it was hard to sum it all up.

“Really difficult to answer as I have got a lot,” he said when asked what his most memorable memory is. “Playing alongside my brother (Tom) was an incredibly proud moment.

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“Having a tough spell off the field and still continuing to play for England, do all that when there was a lot of stuff going on obviously away from the game, to get to 100 caps and be part of that group is very special.

“The main thing is being able to do it consistently with such a hard position to play in and with such hard competition.

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“I have had four coaches with England [Martin Johnson, Stuart Lancaster, Eddie Jones and Steve Borthwick] and I have been picked by all four of them.

“That is a nice touch as every coach has a preference and every coach wants to do different things. But to be picked by all four, I’m proud of that as it shows I clearly bring something to the party.”

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Friday night versus Argentina in the bronze final will be Youngs’ first start at France 2023 following two runs off the bench last month against Japan and Chile. What will he miss when no longer involved with England?

“There is a few things. I’ll miss the adrenaline of running out in front of a full stadium. I’ll miss the pressure of games. That pressure you are going to get when the game is on the line and everything like that.

“I’ll miss the build-up to when it’s a big week and with your team-mates. Just the camaraderie, that common goal of trying to achieve something special within an elite group. Equally, I’ll look back fondly and with contentment. One door closes, another door opens.”

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