In a heartbreaking interview with the RFU’s podcast, England’s Ben Youngs explained the tight link he has with his brother.
The seasoned scrum-half claims he has spent every day of his life with his brother, Tom, whom he played with at Leicester Tigers and for England.
Tom is on an ‘indefinite’ leave from the club to care for his wife, Tiffany, who is facing a serious illness, and he confesses there is now a ‘vacuum’ in his life.
In 2014 Tiffany, Tom’s wife was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ben withdrew out of the 2017 Lions tour to help his family after Warren Gatland placed him in the squad.
They’ve spent their whole careers together, and when they faced Bristol in June of last year, they had no idea it would be the last time they’d play together.
Before being sent on leave, hooker Tom did not play at the start of the 2021/22 season.
Ben couldn’t keep his emotions in check as he spoke about the situation.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better sibling, to be honest with you,”
“I have seen my brother every day of the year for 32 years. Growing up with him and then obviously being a professional rugby player with him.”
“When he left in September and had to go back, it’s been a strange time, it’s been a tough time. I confide in my brother a lot with what happens professionally because he gets a lot of the things.
“For me, there’s a void. There’s a bit of an emptiness at the moment because I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like.
“It’s, kind of, probably taught me and reinforced just how important we are for each other.
“It’s weird to think that we’ve had all those years together, playing and all that, and it’s sort of finishing. I wish I knew that was going to be the last time, you know.