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Youngs praises Tigers’ cubs after title win

Club captain Tom Youngs has commended Leicester Tigers’ young stars after they secured back-to-back U18 titles on Sunday.

Youngs, himself a Tigers Academy graduate, was at Allianz Park to see the under-18 squad defend their title with a thrilling 34-31 win over Gloucester in the competition’s grand final.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “The young lads did really well. They ran away with it in the first half, and then Gloucester got a couple of tries and suddenly got a lot of belief.

“It was extremely tight towards the end, but the good thing is it put our boys under a serious amount of pressure.

“That’s something they’ll learn and understand about winning. The drive and the desire to win was brilliant – it was great to see.”

The title was the Academy’s second in as many years, after their 2018 win against the same opposition.

And despite the first-team’s defeat to Saracens on the same ground just 24 hours earlier, Youngs remained confident in the conveyor belt of young talent from the Academy into the senior squad.

He continued: “There are some good boys coming through the club at the moment, which is great because, actually, they are the backbone of Leicester Tigers and always have been over the years.

“While we were very disappointed yesterday, it’s nice to come and watch these young lads play with some real passion and get a win on a grand final day.

“That was great to watch, and great for the club.”