Leicester Tiger hooker Tom Youngs has 'no regrets' as he retires from rugby

Tom Young has announced his retirement with immediate effect Credit: PA Images

Leicester Tiger hooker Tom Youngs has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect, to care for his wife who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma.

The news comes, having not featured in any games this season. He withdrew from playing last October to focus on caring for his wife Tiffany, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014.

The former England and British & Irish Lions hooker says the send-off his club gave him at the weekend, days after announcing his retirement from professional rugby, was humbling.

Ahead of the team's Premiership win over Bristol Bears, he made an emotional address to the players in the changing room before leading them out one last time.

It was "a lump in the throat" moment, not just for Youngs, but for everyone in the Welford Road stadium, as he carried his young daughter Maisie onto the pitch and received a standing ovation lasting several minutes from the crowd.

Youngs said: "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.

"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.

“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.”

Tom Youngs with teammates Credit: PA Images

A look back at Tom Young's career:

  • The 35 year old made 215 appearances for the Tigers and won 28 caps for his country.

  • He won the Premiership title in 2013 and played in the victorious British and Irish Lions tour in Australia the same year. 

  • He made his World Cup debut in 2015, joining Ben as just the second pair of brothers to represent England at the tournament alongside fellow Leicester Tigers duo Rory and Tony Underwood.

  • Leicester Tigers were Premiership title winners in 2012/13 and Anglo-Welsh Cup winners in 2016/17 - Youngs retires in second place on the club’s all-time list for appearances as captain with 98. Only Martin Johnson has led Leicester Tigers on more occasions.

He describes his time with the Tigers as "a helluva of a ride", and feels grateful to have shared so many special moments playing alongside his brother Ben at scrum-half.