Ben Youngs withdraws from the Lions squad for family reasons
This comes after the wife of his brother Tom learned that she is terminally ill
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw replaces Ben Youngs on the Lions tour
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has been added to the British and Irish Lions squad following Ben Youngs’ withdrawal for family reasons.
The England and Leicester scrum-half, who was part of Warren Gatkabd’s triumphant Lions squad in 2013, announced that he was withdrawing from the tour to support his family on Saturday.
“The British and Irish Lions this evening expressed their support for the Youngs family following the announcement that Ben has withdrawn from the squad for family reasons,” read the statement.
“The wife of Ben’s brother Tom has been battling cancer for three years and the family has now received the news that the illness is terminal.
“Ben has spoken with Head Coach Warren Gatland, who said: “We fully understand and respect Ben’s decision to stay at home. Family comes first and I know from having toured with Tom and Ben in 2013 how close they are.
“This is a difficult and important time for them and we send Ben, Tom and their family our heartfelt thoughts.”
Laidlaw, 31, has been called up for the first time by the Lions and will join Conor Murray and Rhys Webb as the three scrum-halves in the Lions 41-man squad.