Tom Youngs in rallying cry to teammates as Leicester Tigers fight to avoid relegation

The former England hooker is convinced Leicester have a wealth of talent at their disposal ready to turn things around

Connor McLoughlin
Thursday 04 April 2019 15:34
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Tigers have been dragged into an unlikely relegation dogfight
Tigers have been dragged into an unlikely relegation dogfight

Skipper Tom Youngs is refusing to be downcast about Tigers’ chances of avoiding Premiership relegation and has promised Leicester won’t be waving the white flag.

Leicester have won just six Premiership games this season and have been dragged into an unlikely relegation dogfight, with bottom club Newcastle Falcons just five points behind them in the table.

A disastrous showing against Midlands’ rivals Northampton Saints last time out has left Tigers looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Youngs admits he has a huge role to play in the final weeks of the season as leader, ensuring Leicester deliver when it matters most.

But the former England hooker is convinced Leicester have a wealth of talent at their disposal ready to turn things around – starting against Exeter at Welford Road next time out.

“We have not been good enough in some regards,” admitted Youngs, speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Ilkeston Rugby Club.

“We are where we are because of what has happened in our results. We have not won enough.

“You lose in the Premiership and the teams around us have won, so it makes it tight. I would say there is still plenty to play for though.

“It’s about us now and we need to deliver. It’s frustrating because I have said that a lot this season but it’s a funny old wheel which never turns for the best when you are putting a lot of effort in like we are.

“We look forward to Exeter next week. It’s frustrating for us because we’ve played on Friday, and we were nowhere near our potential.

“It’s good to have our international players back. They are world-class players for a reason. Also, they deal with pressure extremely well.

“They’ve all been in pressured situations and in pressure chambers. They will help but it’s not about relying on them to dig us out of this.

“We’ve all got to do it together. There is no such thing as an individual person in a team. We have got to do it together to get ourselves out of this divot – it’s bigger than a divot it’s more like a hole. I’m very confident in this group and that we can deliver on that.”

Tom Youngs in action at a line-out for Leicester

Youngs is more used to challenging for silverware in a Leicester jersey or preparing to make an end-of-season dash for a top-four finish.

However, the former England man is convinced the high-pressure situations he has have found himself in previously at the top-end of the table will be crucial as the Tigers prepare to lock horns with the likes of basement boys Newcastle Falcons on 12 April.

“There’s a lot of good sides and anyone can beat anyone on their day,” he added. “We all go and watch sport because it can turn on its head. The excitement before a game is because someone thinks one team should win but they don’t.

“It’s a massive job but there are lots of good players around me who help with that. All of us must pull together, pull right, and going forward we need to get out this hole.

“For me personally it’s about not making the boys feel under pressure. It sounds strange, but they need to be free to go out there and deliver.

“We need go out at Welford Road, enjoy the game, enjoy playing with each other and that will always bring the best out in us.

“Pressure is something we are not used to, but the one thing is we are used to pressure. It’s a different type of pressure but we are used to expectation.

“We have played in semi-finals and finals, which is something we are used to. That’s a good thing to have going into these moments right now.”

Tom Youngs was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Ilkeston Rugby Club after their U10s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby.

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