Ben Youngs will play his final Test match for England on Friday in the Rugby World Cup bronze medal match against Argentina.
Youngs, 34, has been one of England’s greatest players. He has enjoyed a 13-year Test rugby career and in the process, became England’s record appearance holder in men’s rugby. The bronze final will be his 127th Test cap.
Owen Farrell said it will be a “proud week” for Youngs in his “last game” for England, while Steve Borthwick also paid tribute to Youngs.
“Ben has been a tremendous player for English rugby for such a long time,” Borthwick said.”[He is] Our record cap holder. A player who has seen lot in four World Cups and who has played an important role within this squad helping the team, particularly Alex Mitchell, progress. He’s a brilliant player and a fantastic team man.”
Youngs made his England debut back in the 2010 Six Nations, as he came on to the field against Scotland on the wing as a replacement for Ugo Monye. But since then he has established himself as a key scrum-half across four different coaches: Martin Johnson, Stuart Lancaster, Eddie Jones and Borthwick.
Youngs broke the England men’s record in February 2022 when he came on against Wales in the Six Nations, for what was his 115th England appearance, overtaking Jason Leonard’s record of 114.
He has won four Six Nations titles with England (2011, 2016, 2017, 2020) and started the World Cup final against South Africa in 2019. He also won two Test caps for the British & Irish Lions in 2013.
He becomes the second England player to confirm his international retirement following their semifinal defeat to South Africa on Saturday. Courtney Lawes has also announced he will step away from Test rugby after this World Cup.