Tiff is my inspiration .. now it’s our turn to face the pressure and fight for the Tigers
YOUNGS OPENS UP ON HIS WIFE’S FIGHT WITH CANCER AND LEICESTER’S STRUGGLE
TOM YOUNGS has spoken for the first time about his wife’s fight with cancer and how her bravery has inspired him.
The pressure is on the England hooker, whose Leicester side lost their first two Premiership games.
Factor in that wife Tiff has been given a terminal diagnosis and his situation is an unenviable one.
Yet Youngs, 30, fronted up at Tigers’ training ground this week and is demanding his team does the same at home to Gloucester today.
“When the pressure comes on, you can’t go hiding, you have to stand up,” he said. “I have to carry on and keep going. I’m a committed bloke, so when I’m here, it’s rugby, rugby and I have to show that commitment to the boys. When I’m at home, I’m committed to that.”
Tiff learned she had cancer in 2014. In May of this year the family were told it was incurable.
Ben Youngs, Tom’s England scrumhalf brother, immediately withdrew from the Lions tour to provide support. “She’s an inspirational lady,” said Tom. “A very strong character.
“She doesn’t moan, she gets on with it. She probably doesn’t believe it herself, but she’s an amazing woman.
“What she’s gone through is horrendous, but she is still there, still smiling, still pretty honest and open and talking about it. She’s doing really, really well at the moment.”
Three months ago Youngs did not know if he would start the new season. It was not a priority. The couple spent “great” family time in Norfolk, Tiff “picked up massively” and was able to return home to Leicester.
“We’ve been doing a few different things and that’s been helping, nutrition-wise we’ve been hitting it pretty hard,” Youngs added. “She is positive, getting on with life, taking it as it comes. If she’s good, I’m pretty much good. If she is suffering or whatever, it will affect me.”
Tiff plans on being at Welford Road today for a match her husband has billed as a cup final. “Rugby is only a game and all that. . but it isn’t really, not for us boys,” he said.
“It means quite a lot. To be successful is a massive driving force in why we get up in the morning.
“Last week we were probably too soft as a forward pack. We have to get our season started.”
SUCH A BRAVE FAMILY Youngs in action for Leicester (and below); (left) with his wife Tiff and daughter Maisie