'We all s**t ourselves because Tom Youngs was there'
Ex-Leicester teammates Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode have recalled the botched robbery simulation of the Tigers academy house that resulted in Tom Youngs coming out swinging and Will Skinner apparently spending the night in the company of the Leicestershire constabulary. The Rugby Pod co-hosts were paying tribute to the 35-year-old Youngs who bade farewell at Welford Road last Saturday after announcing last week that he was retiring with immediate effect.
Hamilton and Goode were effusive in their praise for the now ex-Leicester hooker – but they also told a crazy story at their own expense which illustrated the toughness and defiance of Youngs throughout his rugby career.
The podcast duo were Leicester first-teamers in the noughties and a plan was hatched to pay a visit to the house that accommodated the academy players to give them the fright of their lives. However, the would-be fake robbers failed to factor into their plans the presence of a rather tempestuous Youngs.
Unlike some other academy players who were fooled by the burglars, Youngs wasn’t having any of it and his angry reaction put a brisk end to the stitch-up for fear that someone would wind up in hospital. Here is how the story of a quite outrageous caper unfold on the show when it was put to Hamilton and Goode that Youngs nearly sparked them out:
Hamilton: I’d love to say it was Goodey, it was actually everyone that was involved in a robbery simulation that went wrong.
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Goode: We definitely need the word simulation in there because it wasn’t a real robbery. We did hire a van, we did put balaclavas on, we did get in camo gear, we did rock up to the academy house and think these lads are too chopsy, we are going to basically frighten the life out of them and what happened was we all s**t ourselves because Tom Youngs was there.
Hamilton: We didn’t realise Tom Youngs was going to be as angry as he was and basically believe the balaclavas were real burglars. I blame Will Skinner. Will Skinner has turned up in this van, we have all jumped out the back, we have stormed the house, we have gone in there like, ‘We are going to rob the house’. Dan Cole is in there, he didn’t really flinch but he looked a bit scared like he was shaking. Ben Youngs was screaming and then we just went into the kitchen and there is Tom Youngs and literally, he is like a raging bull to the point that Goodey gave it all away. He lifted up his mask but Tom was like ‘let’s be having you’ or something like that and we were like, ‘Youngsy, please don’t’.
Goode: He’d have basically put about six of us in the hospital. I have never seen anything like it. Some of the boys were literally crying, saying, ‘You can have whatever you want, I’m so sorry’. Youngsy came out swinging.
Hamilton: I remember going in and I was like, ‘Take the kit bag’ and Coley is like, ‘You can have the kit bag’. Where are the watches? But Dan Cole didn’t spend any money so he didn’t have any watches. But the funny thing about that was it went wrong and the police then turned up and Will Skinner got locked up for a day or so. God, they were good times at Leicester.
Earlier in the segment, Hamilton and Goode paid tribute to Youngs on the back of last Saturday’s Leicester farewell at home to Bristol. “Seeing Tom Youngs bring the match ball out, lead the team out, we have seen some sights at Leicester but that was one of the most emotional sights I have seen not being at a game,” said Hamilton.
“I could feel the emotion watching it on social media, which generally isn’t a thing, because I know how good a lad he is. Legend gets thrown about all the time, but Tom Youngs would be close to the top of that list. Not just as a player, as a bloke but also everything we know that he is going through… you’re a f**king legend mate. He is going to be a real loss for the game.”
Goode added: “I played in that game when he broke his leg and I was like, ‘Get up mate, what’s wrong?’ ‘I broke my leg’. I was like, ‘Get off’ and he was like, ‘F**k off, Goodey, I’m staying on’. Hardest bloke I have ever met, the nicest guy, an unbelievable teammate who would go to the ends of the earth for his fellow teammate.
“He was a privilege to play with and a horror show to play against when he came running around the corner off the nine trying to find a ten to run over. He was a wonderful player, a wonderful bloke and it was so emotionally charged at the weekend seeing the scenes. It was spine-tingling to watch it.”
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