England’s Tom Youngs heaps praise on Leicester’s Richard Cockerill
England star Tom Youngs heaps praise on Leicester Tigers chief Richard Cockerill after eye-catching season
Tom Youngs has praised Leicester Tigers’ Richard Cockerill patience after celebrating a season to remember.
Youngs took over the No.2 shirt at Welford Road this season and was influential as Leicester went on to the reclaim the Premiership title.
But his meteoric rise didn’t stop there as he also did the same with England, playing throughout the November internationals and then featuring in all five Six Nations games.
However Youngs arguably saved his best until last as he helped the British & Irish Lions claim a first series win in 16 years as they beat Australia 2-1.
And the 26-year-old admits it was all made possible by Tigers chief Cockerill and his willingness to stick with him in the front row having only recently moved from centre.
“It’s been a ridiculous year and it has been difficult for it to sink in, because as you go from game to game, you don’t get time to think about it,” Youngs told the Leicester Mercury.
“When I get my down time, it was will sink in and I will probably say to myself, ‘yeah, that was a pretty special season’.
“I can credit Leicester Tigers and Richard Cockerill for sticking by me, too. I remember when we played Harlequins at home last season and we lost three line-outs on the trot, five metres away from their line. At least two of them were my fault.
“I came off that pitch at the end of the game feeling horrendous that we had lost the game, and I thought I wouldn’t play again for a while.
“But Cockers came up and said that he would be sticking with me. It showed a lot of character and belief in me to make that decision.
“He has been fantastic for me, stuck with me and not pulled me down. He has just let me get on with it and known that I will improve.”