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England Scrum-Half Ben Youngs Withdraws From Lions Squad For Family Reasons

England Scrum-Half Ben Youngs Withdraws From Lions Squad For Family Reasons
By Gavan Casey

Leicester Tigers and England scrum-half has withdrawn from the upcoming Lions tour of New Zealand for family reasons.

The wife of Youngs' brother, Tom - himself a Tiger and England international - has been battling cancer for three years, but the family has received news that the illness is terminal.

The younger brother was selected as part of Warren Gatland's 41-man touring squad, but has informed the Lions head coach that he will stay home to spend time with Tom and his family.

In an official statement released by his club, Youngs said:

We are a very close family and, as I am sure everyone can respect, time is now precious together.

The most important thing for me at this difficult time is to be able to offer as much support as I can to Tom and his family in the remaining time we all have together.

It is a great honour to be selected as a member of the British & Irish Lions squad and I would like to thank Warren Gatland, the staff and the other players for their understanding in this situation. I wish them well and, like all rugby supporters in British and Ireland, hope they have a successful tour.

The Youngs brothers will continue to play for Leicester until the end of the season.

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