Rugby Union

Ben Youngs adapting well to new role as Leicester Tigers captain

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Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs says he has found it easy-going to skipper the side in the absence of the club captain Ed Slater.

The 25-year-old has been filling in whilst his England international team-mate is out of action following knee surgery.

Youngs, who has led the Tigers through their opening matches of the new Premiership season, believes the influential stars at the club have made taking charge on the field a walk in the park.


“The job is pretty easy because of the experience I’ve got around me,” the half-back told BBC Radio Leicester.

“So many guys make great decisions, helping lead the team in so many ways.”

Youngs has been at the Welford Road outfit since joining their academy in 2006, making 102 Premiership appearances.

His stunning performances for his club saw Youngs earn a call-up to the national side, making his debut against Scotland in 2010.

He has since gone onto appear 38 times for England and in a further two games for the British and Irish Lions last year.

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Slater was only named Tigers captain in August, but picked up a ligament injury whilst playing against New Zealand’s Super Rugby side Canterbury Crusaders in the summer.

He will now miss the entire Premiership season and could only have six weeks back before the World Cup in England kicks off next September.

While the lock will be missing from the Leicester side, Youngs believes the other stars at the club have made it easy for him to stand-in for Slater.


“I’m really fortunate to have such good leaders around me with Geoff Parling, my brother Tom, Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Allen,” he added. "Guys like that naturally lead anyway.”

So far, Youngs has captained the Tigers to victories over Newcastle Falcons and Exeter Chiefs.

After an opening weekend 36-17 win at home to the Falcons, the England star scored a try midway through the second half to earn his side their second victory of the season on Saturday and leave them third in the table on points difference.

Yet Youngs could not have achieved a good start as captain without the Tigers’ new signing Freddie Burns, who already has 27 points.

Burns only joined in the summer from Gloucester, but has already had an impact on the club and his current captain.

“I’m really comfortable with him outside me and he is pulling the string and playing really well,” Youngs said.

“I certainly feel that we are making huge steps.”

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