sport news Ben Youngs explains his decision not to go on this summer's Lions tour

'I need to be here for moments like this,' says Ben Youngs, with a chuckle, as his daughter jumps in front of the laptop camera to get his attention. 

It is Saturday evening and Youngs has agreed to a last-minute interview, after hearing that word has reached The Mail on Sunday about his decision not to take part in this summer's Lions tour.

He was tipped to be one of three scrum halves in Warren Gatland's 36-man squad but, after talking through the decision with his family, has decided to stay at home.

Ben Youngs has chosen not to make himself eligible for what would have been his second tour

Ben Youngs has chosen not to make himself eligible for what would have been his second tour

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

'I just want to make sure there aren't any grey areas when the story comes out,' he explains.

Youngs toured with the Lions in 2013 but withdrew from the 2017 series because of a family illness.

'Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I'll never know. I just want to make sure nothing is left open to interpretation.

'After taking the decision not to go four years ago, my perspective is probably a bit different to a lot of the guys. I've got two young children and my wife is heavily pregnant with the third.

'This summer I've got an opportunity to be with my family and my kids. It's been a busy couple of years, so I can also use the time to rest my body.

'I have always loved the Lions, ever since I watched them growing up. In 2017, I watched the games at home with my family, early in the morning, with a pint. I'll be doing no different this time. Hopefully the pubs will be open and I'll have a beer in my hand.

'I'll be cheering them on and I wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour. It's not a decision that I've taken lightly, but it's the best decision for my family.'

Youngs received a save-the-date letter two weeks ago. It outlined the summer itinerary, which involves seven weeks in South Africa in a Covid-secure bubble.

'I received an email the other week but I had already decided by that point,' he adds. 'The email had a short questionnaire of whether you would be available and if

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Devil is in the lack of detail for Olympic hopefuls at risk of infection in ... mogaznewsen
NEXT sport news Ryan Mason insists the Tottenham job is attractive to EVERY manager