England scrum-half Ben Youngs has ruled himself out of contention for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa this summer for family reasons.

The 31-year-old was reportedly one of more than 50 players to have been sent a 'save-the-date' letter from Lions coach Warren Gatland.

However, Youngs has opted to remove himself from consideration.

"Whether or not I would have made the final cut, I'll never know," Youngs told the Daily Mail.

"I've got two young children and my wife is heavily pregnant with the third. This summer I've got an opportunity to be with my family and my kids.

"I have always loved the Lions. I'll be cheering them on, and I wish everyone involved a healthy and successful tour.

"It's not a decision that I've taken lightly, but it's the best decision for my family."

Gatland is set to name his 36-man squad and captain on Thursday, but a revised itinerary for South Africa made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic has yet to be published.

The Lions have a historic warm-up match against Japan scheduled at Murrayfield on 26 June.