Berliner Boersenzeitung - Leonard vows to lead applause if Youngs breaks England caps record

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Leonard vows to lead applause if Youngs breaks England caps record
Leonard vows to lead applause if Youngs breaks England caps record

Leonard vows to lead applause if Youngs breaks England caps record

Former international prop Jason Leonard said he would be "clapping harder than anyone" if Ben Youngs breaks his England caps record at Twickenham on Saturday.

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Scrum-half Youngs will edge ahead of the retired Leonard if he comes off the bench to make his 115th England appearance in a Six Nations match at home to reigning champions Wales.

The 32-year-old Youngs, who made his England debut 12 years ago, is sure to receive a huge ovation from a full house in west London following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions with Leonard, now a rugby administrator, happy to lead the way.

"I'll be at Twickenham and I'll be clapping harder than anyone in the West Stand when Ben comes on -- it will be a great achievement," Leonard, 53, told the PA news agency.

"To do it in front of a home crowd is amazing and I'm pretty sure that Twickenham will go absolutely nuts in celebration -- and rightly so."

Leonard, who retired in 2004, added: "A record is there to be broken. Never, ever, did I think that this would be here for all eternity. It was always a case that it's going to happen, so the question was when really."

Leonard and Leicester stalwart Youngs are still the only England players to have amassed more than 100 caps.

Alun Wyn Jones is the world's most-capped international player, with 161 appearances to date for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

"In the era I started playing for England, if you got more than 30 caps you were considered a success," said Leonard, who won the World Cup in 2003.

"The greatest prize I walked away with is not the records or accolades, but the memories and playing with your mates."

(T.Renner--BBZ)