Leicester Tigers stalwart and former England hooker Tom Youngs has announced his retirement from the professional game with immediate effect.
The hooker, who won the domestic title in 2012/13 and Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2016/17, ends his career in second place in Leicester‘s all-time chart.
“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,” said club legend Youngs before the hooker explained his retirement call at this time.
“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.”
Tom is the son of former Leicester scrum-half Nick Youngs while he has played alongside brother Ben, admitting to a family connection at Tigers.
“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,” the front-row said.
“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.”
Looking back on his career, Youngs added: “It was never easy, but I loved that. I think it suited me, I think the person I am and wanted to be was helped by doing it my way.
“Not just on the pitch, but off it as well, 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 want to make special mention of all those who I have worked with at Leicester Tigers, led by chairman Peter Tom, who has been a great supporter of me and my family on and off the field.”
After appearing for Leicester in the 2021/22 pre-season fixtures, Youngs took indefinite leave to care for his wife Tiffany, who is battling an illness, and has not featured during the current campaign.
“Most of all, I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have been able to do throughout my career,” he said.
“My mum, my dad, my brother and all of my extended family, I am so lucky to have them.
“Finally, 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.”