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Ben Youngs ruled out of South Africa tour

17 June 2012

  • Ben Youngs is travelling home from South Africa with shoulder injury
  • Two-try scrum half replaced by Karl Dickson on Harlequins
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster (R) with scrum half Ben Youngs after Ellis Park defeat

Photo: Getty Images

Ben Youngs has been ruled out of the remainder of England’s tour to South Africa after injuring his right shoulder late on in the defeat to South Africa at Ellis Park.

The Leicester Tigers scrum half, who scored two tries and played a leading role in England’s stirring second half revival in Johannesburg, will be replaced by Harlequins’ Karl Dickson, older brother of fellow squad member Lee Dickson.

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said Youngs was understandably disappointed and that Dickson, who had just landed in Alicante for a week’s holiday when he got the call, will join up with the squad in the morning.

The 42-year-old said: “Ben has picked up a shoulder injury, which only presented itself at the end of the game. After a night’s sleep he was struggling to move it and went for some imaging, which ruled him out of the tour.

“He was excellent for us in the second Test and is devastated. But these opportunities come along for other players, Danny Care and Lee Dickson now have that chance. We’ve got Lee Dickson’s brother Karl winging in from Alicante.

“We don’t want to risk both nines in the Tuesday game so Karl is on his way here overnight and will join us in the morning.”

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster looks down from the stands at Ellis Park

Photo: Getty Images

Lancaster has had a night to reflect on the 36-27 defeat to the Springboks, when a horror start which led to a deficit of 19 points at one point in the opening half ultimately cost England the chance of a historic victory.

England’s biggest ever deficit to overturn for a Test win in currently 12 points – the 32-31 victory over Australia in 2002 – and beating that looked possible when the gap was closed to four, before a late JP Pietersen try secured the home win.

Lancaster, always keen to look forward, said the sense of frustration after pushing South Africa so close can inspire his side ahead of the final Test in Port Elizabeth next Saturday and added he expects changes in personnel.

He said: “There are lots of positives, particularly second half. As we all know, that start in the first 20 minutes put us under real pressure but we came back into the game.

“The boys have had the day off today, we’ll review it in the morning. They’ll not train again tomorrow so we’ll keep it light with a weights session.

“There was a sense of frustration in the dressing room after the game and I’ve said to them it is about bottling that frustration and channelling it into Saturday’s Test.

“We’ve got one or two changes that we might make and there’s an enforced chance with Ben already so it will freshen things up, bring some new people into the team and see how we go."