Tiff is my in­spi­ra­tion .. now it’s our turn to face the pres­sure and fight for the Tigers


Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY ALEX SPINK Rugby Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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