Tom Youngs will skip England's tour of New Zealand in June to be at home with his ill wife, while Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Jack Nowell and Christian Wade will also not tour.

Youngs' wife, Tiffany, is requiring treatment for an illness and England coach Stuart Lancaster says Wednesday that "it is entirely right that he stays at home.''

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "These things are more important than rugby, and Tom and his family have the full support of everyone at Leicester Tigers.

"We hope everyone respects their privacy at this time."

The hooker, 27, is the brother and club team-mate of Leicester and England scrum-half Ben, and won three Lions caps on the tour of Australia in 2013.

Lancaster thinking ahead

Winger Nowell, who made his debut for England in this year's Six Nations, is undergoing knee surgery next week to ensure he will be fit for next season.

Prop Corbisiero and flanker Croft are back playing with their English clubs after being sidelined long-term knee injuries but Lancaster says they will not have played enough rugby for them to be considered for such a tour.

"They have all had significant injuries and their return to play has been carefully managed in conjunction with their clubs. It will be a short term loss but a long term gain for us and their clubs as we enter a huge 18 months," the England head coach said.

England's medical team are liaising with Bath and Gloucester over injuries to Rob Webber (knee) and Billy Twelvetrees (ankle) respectively.

England will play four matches in New Zealand, including three Tests against the All Blacks on consecutive Saturdays starting on 7 June.

Source: AP