England’s Ben Youngs has pulled out of this summer’s Lions tour of South Africa to spend time with his young family.
The scrum-half, who received a save the date letter from Warren Gatland, has ruled himself out.
Youngs instead wants to spend quality time with his family with a third child on the way.
‘Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I’ll never know,’ he revealed to the Mail Online.
‘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.
‘I have always loved the Lions. I’ll be cheering them on, and I wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour.’
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LIST: Three players who REJECTED Lions call-ups from Warren Gatland
Here are three well known rugby players who turned down an British & Irish Lions call-up from Warren Gatland down the years. All English.
#1. Billy Vunipola (England)
Vunipola withdrew from the Lions squad the day after Saracens’ last game of the season against Exeter in May because of his shoulder injury. He was due to report for a training camp in Dublin but opted against travelling to Ireland, despite Warren Gatland asking him to do so.