Ben Youngs pulls out
Laidlaw called up to join Lions squad
Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has been called up to the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer after England scrum-half Ben Youngs pulled out due to family illness.
Laidlaw’s promotion boosts the number of Scots in the 41-man travelling squad to three with the Borderer joining Glasgow Warriors Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour.
The Leicester Tigers No. 9 made the decision after his sister-in-law Tiffany Youngs was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Tiffany is married to Youngs’ brother, fellow rugby player Tom Youngs.
“We are a very close family and, as I am sure everyone can respect, time is now precious together,” he said.
“The most important thing for me at this difficult time is to be able to offer as much support as I can to Tom and his family in the remaining time we all have together.
“It is a great honour to be selected as a member of the British & Irish Lions squad and I would like to thank Warren Gatland, the staff and the other players for their understanding in this situation.
“I wish them well and, like all rugby supporters in Britain and Ireland, hope they have a successful tour.”
Laidlaw has recovered from an ankle injury which he sustained in Scotland’s loss to France in the Six Nations in February.
He plays his last game for his current club in the final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup against Stade Francais Paris at BT Murrayfield on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).
The British and Irish Lions begin their 10-game tour, which includes three Test matches against the All Blacks, on 3 June.