A virtuoso performance from Ben Youngs, making only his second Twickenham start, brought him the Investec Man of the Match award when England overpowered Australia 35-18 in November 2010. His imaginative blind side pass near his own line helped to launch Chris Ashton for an 85-metre try that reinforced the impression of Ben’s excellence.
Scintillating form behind a dominant Leicester Tigers pack projected him to the accolade of Land Rover Discovery of the Year 2009-10 at the annual Guinness Premiership awards and a try-scoring first start for England in the 21-20 win over Australia at Sydney in June 2010. A dummy and a dynamic dash from line out ball won by Tom Croft launched him to the line.
He also marked his RWC debut last September with a vital try against Argentina in Dunedin after coming off the bench for Richard Wigglesworth. Another followed later that month only 20 seconds after half time in the 67-3 win over Romania and his fourth, against Ireland at Twickenham in March this year, came from his opportunist ‘tap and go’ from a penalty award.
His two touchdowns against South Africa in the second Test at Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg in June this year was the first instance of player scoring two tries in a match for England against the Springboks since Will Greenwood did so in the 53-3 victory at Twickenham in November 2002. Ben, who had produced an outstanding performance, was ruled out of final week of the tour by an injury to his right shoulder.
Ben, who underwent keyhole surgery on his left knee in June 2011, had been the Tigers’ youngest league player when appearing against Bristol in April 2007 and figured off the bench in the 2008 Premiership final triumph over Gloucester. His first senior try was against Bath in the EDF Energy Cup in October 2008, exploits that he has superimposed on the international arena.
The youngest player in the England Junior World Championship party four years ago, he ended 2008-09 by figuring in the squad that reached the final of the World Championships in Japan. He also advanced into the England Sevens’ party for the IRB World Series, first appearing in Hong Kong.
Ben was a member of the England Junior National Academy in 2006-07 and played at fly half, full back and centre, as well as scrum half with the Tigers Academy, who he joined on a full time basis that season.
Born in Cawston, Norfolk and educated at Gresham’s School in Holt, he played for North Walsham before joining Leicester and is the son of Nick Youngs, the Tigers’ scrum half, who won six England caps in 1983-84. Ben’s older brother, Tom, a centre-turned-hooker, was on a dual registration with the Tigers and Nottingham before returning to Welford Road this season