Ben Youngs: the sportsman to watch in 2011

ITN News

by ITN News

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It may have been a stunning year for Leicester Tigers and England star Ben Youngs, but 2011 could be even better for the scrum-half.

The 21-year-old shone on his first start for England on the summer tour of Australia, scoring a stunning solo try in the 21-20 win in Sydney.

He followed that up with another outstanding display in the autumn game against the Aussies at Twickenham, starting the move on his own line that led to Chris Ashton's memorable try.

"This time last year I was struggling to get a regular starting spot for Leicester. I managed to do so and things have progressed faster than I expected," says the Norfolk boy, whose dad Nick also played for England.

However, unlike many young sportsmen who get carried away by quick success and acclaim, Youngs remains humble.

"Ultimately all I am is a guy who runs around with a ball. We're very lucky to do it at a good level and that people want to come and watch us."

He adds: "I keep my head down and keep working hard and try to avoid distractions. I can still go down to a nice pub and have a quiet coke or water."

With England possibly a renewed force on the international scene, there will be a lot of excitement entering a World Cup year.

But Youngs refuses to get carried away, knowing there is plenty of rugby to play before the tournament begins in New Zealand in September.

"I take it one day at a time," Youngs insists.

"If I could win the Premiership or Heineken Cup with Leicester that would be fantastic. If I could be involved in the Six Nations and we won it that would be a massive honour and privilege. Then if I could make the plane for the World Cup that would be great...but we'll see."

Indeed we will, but whatever happens many rugby fans expect Ben Youngs to continue his rise to rugby stardom in 2011.