Youngs is ‘not unsettled’ and expects to sign new Leicester Tigers deal despite speculation
PUBLISHED: 18:41 18 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:41 18 January 2018
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Ben Youngs has confirmed he is set to sign a new contract with Leicester Tigers, to bring in and end to speculation linking him with a summer exit.
The 28-year-old former Holt and North Walsham junior has been named in England’s 35-man training squad ahead of the RBS Six Nations beginning against Italy on February 4.
The Norfolk-born Tigers stalwart had been linked with ambitious Championship side Bristol, who are building towards a strong Premiership future, as his contract neared its expiry.
“We are well down the line and everything is looking very positive from this end,” Youngs said of his new deal. “I am sure it will be sorted in the next week or two.
“I am not unsettled at all. There are plenty of positives of staying at Leicester. My brother (Tom) is here and so are George Ford and Matt O’Connor for example.
“We are pretty much there and there are no issues.”
The former Gresham’s School pupil has 73 international caps to his name and has largely been first choice at scrum-half since Eddie Jones took over as England’s coach in 2016.
The Australian has won 22 of his 23 Tests in charge and is bidding for a third successive Six Nations crown as he builds towards the 2019 World Cup.
“Everyone knows what Eddie does so I am not surprised that the RFU have pursued him,” Youngs continued. “He has been great for English rugby and his record speaks for itself.
“English rugby is looking very strong and, with Eddie at the helm, it will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Youngs is set to make his 219th appearance for Tigers, at home to Racing 92 in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.
“We are out of the competition but we really want to finish it strongly in terms of a win,” he added, speaking to the Leicester Mercury. “Racing have an unbelievable squad. If they played in the Premiership, they would be one of the favourites to win it.
“They are coming here and we are excited by the challenge they bring. If we can win this game, it will be a great springboard as to what is to come.”