Tom Youngs retires from rugby with immediate effect
- Credit: PA
Tom Youngs has retired from professional rugby with immediate effect at the age of 35.
The Norfolk-born hooker took indefinite leave from his club, Leicester Tigers, in October to care for his ill wife and last featured for them in the Premiership last season.
Youngs, who is a former Gresham’s School pupil and Holt RFC junior, played 215 games for Leicester and won 28 England caps. He also played in three British and Irish Lions tests in 2013.
"I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have," Youngs said.
"To my wife Tiff and daughter Maisie, I am lucky to have you alongside me and would not be where I am without you. Thank you both."
Youngs' wife Tiffany was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Her illness saw him pull out of England's tour of New Zealand that summer so he could care for her.
He returned to the international scene the following year, winning the last of his England caps in October 2015 at the Rugby World Cup.
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A Premiership title winner in the 2012-13 season, Youngs captained the Tigers on 98 occasions. Only former England skipper Martin Johnson has performed the role more times.
Youngs is the son of former Leicester scrum-half Nick Youngs and spent his career playing alongside his brother Ben at club and international level.
"There has always been a connection to the club, with dad playing for Tigers, and I have memories from an early age of hearing about what that was like for him and what it meant to him," Youngs added.
"To be able to do what I have done, alongside my brother and after my dad, is just magical. I couldn't have written it any better.
"I am so grateful to all of the team-mates that have helped me along the way, coaches who have taught me so much and fans who have been there for me, cheering us on.
"I had always planned around this season being my last and I am comfortable with the timing of it now.
"I have no regrets and, looking back, am proud of what I have achieved at the only club I ever wanted to play for."