The Leicester and England hooker talks farming, fears and flying
RUGBY WORLD: Do you have any phobias?
TOM YOUNGS: I don’t like heights very much. I get nervous going up the grain bins at home on the farm.
RW: What are your bugbears?
TY: A lack of effort. Whatever business it is, people dossing about is quite frustrating.
RW: What’s your favourite joke?
TY: I don’t have any, but Mefin Davies used to say he had a point to make and would gather everyone in a circle, then he’d point to the middle of the floor!
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?
TY: A PlayStation – a handheld one, a PSP – because I don’t enjoy computer games. It’s long gone.
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on then pitch?
TY: I’ll put myself up for this. When I was first starting out at hooker and playing for Nottingham, I once threw the ball to the opposition scrum-half! I knew then I had a long way to go. Everyone just started laughing it was so ridiculous. I don’t think it would have been so funny if I’d been playing for Leicester!
RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?
TY: Probably Tom Cruise – we’re about the same height!
RW: Who are the jokers at Leicester?
TY: George Chuter definitely – he’s a funny guy. My brother Ben and Ryan Lamb are quite big characters too. There’s lots of banter and they take the mickey out of the boys.
RW: Who gets the most stick?
TY: Julian Salvi gets the most out of everyone. I won’t say he’s an idiot because that’s a bit harsh, but he does stupid stuff. He says he’s book smart, but he doesn’t have much common sense. And when he has his front teeth out, it’s quite amusing.
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
TY: To fly – that would be awesome. I wouldn’t be scared of heights then and it’d be cool to fly up Mount Everest and sit at the top.
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
TY: An electrician, because he’d know how to get out of there! In terms of famous people, Jennifer Aniston is pretty hot so it would be nice to have a chat with her. And Jeremy Clarkson is amusing, so it would be fun to see what he comes out with.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
TY: I’d like to take over the family farm and have a happy family. I’m enjoying fatherhood (daughter, Maisie, was born in November).
RW: Which team-mate would you most want to be for a day?
TY: Probably someone tall. I could say Tom Croft but he’s going bald! Graham Kitchener is quite good-looking and it’d be nice to be tall for a couple of days. I might not like it but it would be good to feel tall for a little bit.
RW: What’s your guilty pleasure?
TY: Farming! I like being outside on my own, going up and down a field and being in my own thoughts. After the intensity of rugby, it’s nice to get away. I enjoy it.
RW: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
TY: If you commit to something you’re more likely to achieve it; you’ll achieve what you want to achieve.
RW: How’d you like to be remembered?
TY: Just as an honest, hard-working guy.
This was published in the February 2014 edition of Rugby World.
Click here to see what’s in the current issue.