England’s scrum half, Ben Youngs, self-excluded from the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa for family reasons.
Rumor has it, the 31-year-old Englishman was one of more than 50 players who received a “save the date” letter from Warren Gatland. However, Youngs has chosen to step aside, becoming the first player to do so publicly.
“Whether I was in the final cut or not, I will never know,” Youngs told the Daily Mail, adding: “I have two young children and my wife is pregnant with the third. This summer I have the opportunity to be with my family and my children. . I’ve always loved the Lions. I will cheer for you and wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour.. It is not a decision that I have taken lightly, but it is the best decision for my family. “
In theory, Gatland would announce the squad for the 36-man European team and captain next Thursday. The Lions have a history preparation match against Japan scheduled in Murrayfield on June 26.