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Youngs appointed Leicester Tigers captain

Tom Youngs is the new Leicester captain. Credit: PA

Aviva Premiership club Leicester have announced the appointment of England international hooker Tom Youngs as club captain for next season.

Youngs, 29, has made more than 100 first team appearances for the Tigers, in addition to winning 28 England caps and featuring in the British and Irish Lions Test series against Australia three years ago.

"Tom is a Leicester man through and through and has special links with the club, where his father and brother have also played. He is a world-class player who leads by example," Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill told the club's official website.

"Tom is supported by a good strong group of leaders within the squad, including Ed Slater, who has done an excellent job as club captain over the last couple of seasons, and experienced players like Mathew Tait, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Owen Williams and Freddie Burns."


George Ford back at fly-half for second Test in Australia

George Ford. Credit: PA

England will restore George Ford at fly-half for Saturday's second Test against Australia at AAMI Park.

Eddie Jones will reunite the Grand Slam-winning 10-12 axis of Ford and Owen Farrell as the tourists target the victory that will complete an historic series in the southern hemisphere.

Ford was brought on in the 29th minute of the 39-28 victory in Brisbane with Luther Burrell, who had been exposed in defence on several occasions, making way.

The reshuffle saw Farrell, the starting fly-half, replace Burrell at inside centre and the change in personnel provided the catalyst for England's fightback.

A bold early substitution by Jones was rewarded with arguably Ford's best performance in 24 caps after the 23-year-old's vision set-up tries for wings Marland Yarde and Jack Nowell.

It is hoped the twin playmakers will offer England the direction they need if they are to seize an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

"Australia will be desperate because they will be disappointed with the first result," Ford said.

Johnny Sexton to miss Ireland tour of South Africa

Sexton has been ruled out of Ireland's tour of South Africa. Credit: PA

Johnny Sexton has been ruled out of Ireland's tour of South Africa.

The 30-year-old Leinster fly-half suffered a shoulder injury during Saturday's 20-10 Pro12 final defeat by Connacht and needed minor surgery.

Coach Joe Schmidt has also lost Luke Fitzgerald and Dave Kearney to injuries sustained at Murrayfield, and in a further blow Rob Kearney pulled up in training on Wednesday with a hamstring strain which will rule him out of the tour.

Ireland have called up Craig Gilroy, Matt Healy, Ian Madigan and the uncapped Tiernan O'Halloran as replacements.

The squad depart on Sunday and will play Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth on their first tour of South Africa since 2004.


Dylan Hartley: One more concussion and I could retire

England captain Dylan Hartley accepts that one more concussion could force him to take an extended break from the game or even end his career.

Hartley will lead England out against Wales on Sunday. Credit: PA

Hartley has missed 14 weeks of the season over two spells after taking blows to the head, the most recent of which came in the final match of the Six Nations when he was knocked unconscious in the Grand Slam-sealing victory over France.

Debilitating lethargy was the main symptom of his latest absence and he was only able to return in Northampton's final match of the season on May 7, making Sunday's Test against Wales at Twickenham the second outing of his comeback.

Now the 30-year-old hooker is symptom-free and feels "strong and fit", but he knows a further concussion might have far-reaching implications.

Hartley said:

If I got another lay-off now, I'd be worried. I'd probably start looking at other careers or maybe a long lay-off. Maybe I'll look at my tackling technique too!

I'd have to ask a specialist. Three in one season would warrant a bit of time off and I would probably take that anyway - take a step back and have a minute.

It's not something I fear, it's something you deal with when it happens. I won't go into the Wales game worrying about it. I feel confident in my head and have tested it out a few times.

– England captain Dylan Hartley

Exeter's Waldrom ruled out of Premiership final

33-year-old England back-rower Waldrom suffered damage to his medial ligament. Credit: PA

Thomas Waldrom will miss Exeter's Aviva Premiership final clash with Saracens after being ruled out for 12 weeks with a knee ligament injury.

The 33-year-old England back-rower suffered damage to his medial ligament in the closing stages of Saturday's 34-23 league semi-final victory over Wasps.

Exeter will face Premiership title holders and Champions Cup winners Saracens in their maiden league final at Twickenham on Saturday, with 28 coachloads of fans making the journey to London.

Flanker Don Armand admitted four-cap England back-rower Waldrom has been "really upset" by the injury blow, but vowed Exeter will now bid to lift the title in his honour.

"It's really horrible for someone like 'Tank' especially, who puts so much time and emotion into the team and you can see that by the way he plays," said Exeter flanker Armand.

"We're definitely going to miss him. He's been really upset this week and that just shows what the team means to him.

"There are definitely boys playing for him, as extra emotion and motivation."

Tuilagi to miss England's tour to Australia

Tuilagi won't be available for England this summer. Credit: PA

Manu Tuilagi will miss England's tour to Australia next month with a hamstring problem, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Tuilagi sustained the injury in Leicester's Aviva Premiership semi-final defeat at Saracens on Saturday and, following a scan, has been ruled out of the three-Test series against the Wallabies.

A replacement will be named after Sunday's pre-tour Test against Wales at Twickenham.

"It's bad luck for Manu so close to the tour, but it provides a great opportunity for someone else. We wish Manu all the best and a quick recovery," head coach Eddie Jones said.

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