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Youngs backed to retain No9 shirt long-term

Youngs backed to retain No9 shirt long-term

British & Irish Lions scrum-half Ben Youngs has come of age this year, according to England team-mate Mike Brown.

British & Irish Lions scrum-half Ben Youngs has come of age this year, according to England team-mate Mike Brown.

Youngs has been involved in a three-way scrap for the England No.9 shirt in recent times with Danny Care and Richard Wigglesworth.

But the 25-year-old has started all five of England’s games in 2015, scoring three tries in the process and now appears to be in the driving seat to keep his position for the World Cup later this year.

Youngs also played his part in two Tests as the British & Irish Lions defeat Australia in 2013, and Brown admits his latest spell of form was inevitable.

“The way Ben has controlled the game this year was very impressive,” said Brown, speaking at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens – the world's largest schools rugby tournament.

“He’s really stepped up as a leader as well in the camp. That might come from his captaincy as Leicester but he’s also just matured as a player.

“He’s been around a long time as a player now like me but he’s really come on as a leader and his kicking game has been really good.

“It’s hard to say if he’s got his spot completely down for the World Cup. I don’t think anyone is nailed in.

“Stuart rewards players for working hard and consistency and the level of performance they’ve shown. And he’ll continue to do that.”

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