Leicester Tigers suffer double blow as Tom Youngs and brother Ben set to miss relegation run-in
- Tom Youngs will plead guilty to a shoulder charge at a hearing on Wednesday
- The 32-year-old faces a six-week ban after being sent off in defeat by Exeter
- Srum-half Ben Youngs had surgery last week, and will be out until late June
Leicester look set for a double blow ahead of their relegation run-in, with Tom Youngs facing a six-week ban and brother Ben out for three months after shoulder surgery.
Captain Tom Youngs, 32, will plead guilty to a shoulder charge at an RFU hearing on Wednesday. Ben Youngs, 29, had surgery last week, and will be out until late June.
Tigers hooker Tom was sent off in the 52-20 loss by Exeter on Saturday which put Leicester in a precarious position with four games to go.
Leicester hooker Tom Youngs was sent off in the 52-20 loss by Exeter on Saturday
If it is proven that he struck the head of Chiefs’ Ollie Atkins, suspensions start at six weeks. His boss Geordan Murphy is resigned to losing Youngs for the season, but hopes for a ban reduction.
‘To the letter of the law it’s a red card,’ said Murphy
‘I just know he’s not a dirty player and was apologetic straight away. You have to plead guilty. It’s trial by slo-mo.
‘I’m hoping it is in the 6 to 8 week bracket, he has a genuine defence, but he made contact with the head, so hopefully they will go six weeks – mitigated by good behaviour and a guilty plea, it’s generally half. So probably a three-week ban.
Tom Youngs and brother Ben (right) set to miss relegation run-in for Leicester Tigers
‘But it depends on the people sitting on the board. World Rugby are trying to clamp down on it and will want to be disciplined and not lenient.
‘It is dangerous and it does not look good for the game. Tom has had messages from people around rugby, and probably the old school didn’t think it was anything other than a good clean-out.
‘Hopefully there are mitigating circumstances where they can reduce the ban, but it’s going to be a ban. I am pretty resigned to that.’
Ben Youngs had shoulder surgery last week, and Murphy revealed he will be out until late June.
‘It should be around three months, so he should be ready for England,’ added the head coach.
‘I imagine he will be fine to join England’s World Cup preparations.’
In both Youngs’ absence England fly-half George Ford will lead Leicester in one of their biggest games in Tigers’ history – away to bottom-placed Newcastle on Friday.
‘George is pretty smart, astute, knows how we want to run the game is a good voice for us and has a level head who gets on well with the officials,’ Murphy said of Ford.
‘So it’s a no brainer for us.’ Lose badly and if Worcester win on Saturday Tigers could end the weekend 12th.
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