Ben Youngs: Leicester Tigers and England scrum-half 'reinvigorated'

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter
Ben Youngs (left) and Eddie Jones
Ben Youngs featured in all five of England's Six Nations matches under Eddie Jones
European Rugby Champions Cup: Leicester v Stade Francais
Venue: Welford Road Date: Sunday 10 April, 13:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or BBC Radio Leicester, report on the BBC Sport website.

Leicester and England scrum-half Ben Youngs says new coaches at club and country have reinvigorated his career.

The 26-year-old played a key role in England's Six Nations Grand Slam success under Eddie Jones.

He is also thriving under the tutelage of Tigers head coach Aaron Mauger.

"With Mauge and Eddie, I feel I can play like I did when I first came on the scene for Leicester, when I didn't fear what might happen if it went wrong," Youngs told BBC Radio 5 live.

Speaking ahead of Leicester's Champions Cup quarter-final against Stade Francais at Welford Road on Sunday, he added: "I feel I've got that back now. It's a new lease of life - I've been given confidence by both coaches to express myself.

"It's given me a new motivation, and I feel I'm being challenged and tested every day."

Proving a point

Ben Youngs
Ben Youngs first played for England in 2010 and has scored nine tries in his 57 caps

Following England's exit at the group stage of the World Cup, Youngs was one of a handful of senior players under pressure for his international place.

And he admits he had to prove his worth to Jones.

"To start with he was probably testing me out a little bit," said Youngs, who has 57 England caps and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2013.

"But I feel like I've got a very good relationship with Eddie. He instils a huge amount of belief both within the squad and individually, and I really enjoy being coached by him."

Youngs featured in all of England's Six Nations matches, and although he was dropped to the bench for the decider against France in Paris - with Danny Care starting in his place - his impact in the second half was telling.

"When [Jones] told me [I wasn't starting], he said I was going to come off the bench and win us the Grand Slam. I thought 'I quite like the sound of that!'" Youngs said.

"At that point I said to Eddie it's just about winning the Grand Slam.

"Of course I want to start every game, but so does Danny, so that naturally isn't going to happen. I was just happy that I could come on and really help the team. The plan paid off, so credit to him."

Aaron Mauger (left) and Richard Cockerill
Aaron Mauger was appointed Leicester head coach at the start of this season

Meanwhile, Youngs says his decision to recently sign a new contract at the Tigers has been vindicated.

"Definitely," he added. "I really think whatever happens this year, I feel like we are only just touching the surface under Mauge. [Next season] we have [Australian international] Matt Toomua coming in, [Springbok wing] JP Pietersen coming in. The best is yet to come."

Listen to commentary of Leicester Tigers against Stade Francais on BBC Radio 5 live on Sunday at 13:45.

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