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Youngs, who has played for his club over 200 times, took indefinite leave from Leicester earlier this season to look after his wife Tiff, who is ill. Youngs won 28 England caps and was selected for the British and Irish Lions.
“I had always planned around this season being my last and I am comfortable with the timing of it now,” the 35-year-old told the Tigers’ club website. “I have no regrets and, looking back, am proud of what I have achieved at the only club I ever wanted to play for.”
Youngs has dedicated his career to Leicester and he has family ties to the club. His brother Ben, England’s most capped men’s player, competes for the side, as did their father Nick. So it was apt he took time to thank them when announcing he was hanging up his boots.
“Most of all, I want to thank my family for all that they have done to help me achieve what I have been able to do throughout my career,” he said. “My mum, my dad, my brother and all of my extended family, I am so lucky to have them.
“Finally, to my wife Tiff and daughter Maisie, I am lucky to have you alongside me and would not be where I am without you. Thank you both.”
Youngs’ wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and he pulled out of an England tour to care for her. He returned to the international stage but his last cap for England came at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.