Youngs hits out at overseas players

Date published: April 9 2015

Tom Youngs has revealed his frustration at the possibility that overseas players could be drafted into England's World Cup squad.

The performances of Top 14 pair Steffon Armitage and Nick Abendanon have led to increased speculation that Stuart Lancaster might use his 'special circumstances' clause to bring them into England's extended World Cup squad.

While Lancaster has so far refused to select players plying their trade in the Top 14, it is being reported that Abendanon and Armitage could both be part of the 45-man squad which will start England's World Cup preparations.

However Youngs, the Leicester Tigers hooker, has expressed his concerns, questioning whether the introduction of two new players at this late stage could disrupt the harmony of the squad, with other players missing out after four years of work.

"Over the last few years, the graft you have done to get into the England squad and then for someone to come from abroad to take your spot you would be pretty gutted,” Youngs told the Telegraph.

"I don’t know how well it would go down with the whole team. It is not just the individual affected, but it is the other guys who might look upon that and might not agree with it.

"Stuart has built a culture within this group of players so it is a very tough decision for him. Does he want to disrupt it? That’s a question you would have to ask him.

"Personally for me, if he brought someone in [to compete with me] I would be pretty annoyed like anyone else would be.

"The whole thing about playing for England, it still comes down to a player’s decision whether to go across or not. No one is forced across there.

"It comes down to your personal decision whether you want to do something different and experience a different lifestyle then that’s the decision you make by going across there, but then you jeopardise your England place."