'Tom would smash right through Ben…' How the Youngs brothers went from mini-rugby to the England squad
22:45 GMT, 7 November 2012
The galvanised steel rugby posts fashioned for the Youngs brothers by a doting grandfather have long rusted and disappeared but the memories of the young boys at play in north Norfolk linger.
Especially for a proud father like Nick Youngs, who himself played for England.
He is preparing for the possibility of watching both his sons, Ben, 23, and 25-year-old Tom, turn out for the same international team at Twickenham.
Boy wonders: Ben (right) and Tom Youngs (left) started out playing mini-rugby and could be the third brothers since the war to play for England together
Haven't they grown Tom Youngs trains with England ahead of their clash with Fiji on Saturday
Off he goes: Ben Youngs (centre) is considered to be the more naturally gifted of the two brothers
'Ben was David Campese in those days,' Dad recalls. 'Then he was Christian Cullen, complete with All Blacks shirt which he would change into as soon as he came home.
'It was quite amusing watching Ben side-stepping across the lawn, running about and pretending to score tries. Tom would boot the ball into the air and catch it.
'Ben was tiny. Tom was always quite chunky, and, of course, two years older. So when they played against each other Ben got the s*** smashed out of him.
'Ben would try to glide and step past Tom; Tom would just run through and straight over Ben.'
Think of Jonah Lomu galloping over Tony Underwood in the 1995 World Cup semi-final and you get the picture.
The Youngs look like becoming the third brothers since the war to play in the same England international side after the Underwoods, Rory and Tony, and Delon and Steffon Armitage.
The fact Nick Youngs has also been capped for England adds an extra dimension.
Nick, like Ben a scrum-half, won six caps in season 1983-84, largely, as he freely admits, due to an injury to Nigel Melville.
It was not England's finest year. But they did beat the All Blacks, as had the Midlands 10 days earlier. Youngs played in both games.
'The highlights of my career. I remember the Midlands game in particular. A Tuesday night at Welford Road. The atmosphere was amazing. We had such luck.
Talent: The Youngs' father, Nick, who was himself an England international, says that Tom was chunkier and used to smash through Ben
In action: Nick was a solid scrum-half, but retired at 26, meaning neither of his sons ever saw him play
'We could have played them 100 times and been walloped on each occasion. But we tackled ourselves to a standstill and found an inner belief from somewhere.'
Youngs Snr retired at 26, weary at his three-times-a-week 230-mile round trip between the family farm and Leicester.
So his children did not see him play and they still haven't.
'I haven't shown them any recordings and I wouldn't. The game is so slow and dreary. I am embarrassed by it.
'When old farts talk about the game being so great in their day, I tell people they should watch the matches I played in. That shows the truth.'
Like so many of their generation, the Youngs boys started in mini-rugby, in their case at Holt RFC in Norfolk.
Both moved to North Walsham RFC which carried on their rugby education.
So did the renowned independent school Gresham's, chosen not just for sporting reasons. 'Both boys suffered from dyslexia,' their father explains.
'I struggled terribly with dyslexia at a time when it was not identified as that. They just called me thick. I remember sitting an exam not even being able to read the question.
'Tom struggled to read and write. Ben was better. But the dyslexia unit at the school was terrific. The academic side was tough but the sport was a great release, just as it had been for me.'
Brotherly love: Tom and Ben (left) are both delighted to see each other succeed at the top level of their sport, as Ben shows his promise aged just 14 (right)
Say cheese: Ben (left) and Tom (right) pose for the camera in this childhood photograph
Ben started as a centre and full back while always wanting to play fly-half.
It was during a trial for a London youth side that a selector saw him as a scrum-half.
Dusty Hare at Leicester took the same view. So, Ben embarked on a crash course in the art of the No 9, with Dad providing valuable tuition on passing from the floor and box-kicking during extra training at North Walsham.
Tom's conversion from centre to hooker, initiated by Heyneke Meyer, the former Leicester and current South African coach, came much later and proved more dramatic.
Nick remembers a phone call from Meyer when Tom was contemplating the switch.
'He told me that Tom already ticked most of the boxes for being a hooker. All he needed to learn was scrummaging and throwing in at the lineout!
'I remember his first game. He was targeted. There was a punch-up at the scrum and his first throw at the line-out looked like a beachball in the wind.
Competition: David Paice (left) is keeping a close eye on fellow hooker Tom Youngs (right)
Close control: Ben Youngs (centre) will be hoping to dismantle the Fijians in Saturday's Test
'I laugh about it now. He is still a work in progress but he has come so far. If anyone wants to criticise him, they should imagine what he has gone through. He just rolled up his sleeves and never complained.'
No-one would dispute that Ben possesses the more natural talent, as his father concedes.
'He has the kind of natural flair that you are born with and that can't be coached. He gets it from his mother, Trot (Patricia).
'But if you want to get Tom really wound up and upset, ask him how he copes with his brother's success.
'Tom is so happy for him, not at all envious. And Ben is equally thrilled about Tom's arrival in the England squad.
'I just think that it shows how anyone, anywhere, can pull on that England shirt. I think of Ben and his matchstick legs running around at a little place like Holt.'
Gerry, 86, the grandfather who made the rugby posts, will be at Twickenham on Saturday with his wife Helen, hoping to see two grandchildren in action 28 years after watching his son in the same stadium.
The family are looking forward to a great day.