Scrum-half Youngs earned the plaudits for a superb display in a losing cause in the second Test in Johannesburg, scoring two late tries in a 36-27 defeat.
The 22-year-old was also impressive in the first Test – despite another loss for Stuart Lancaster’s men – before injury ruled him out of the drawn final Test in Port Elizabeth.
That injury to his shoulder looks set to keep him out of action up until the start of next season, as he joins England and Tigers team-mate Croft on the treatment table.
But flanker Croft, who missed the South Africa tour with a neck injury, was delighted to see Youngs display what he feels is his true form.
“Ben was superb on the South Africa tour and I for one could not be more pleased to see him back at the top of his game,” said 26-year-old Croft.
“You could see in the Premiership final (which Leicester lost to Harlequins) he was approaching his best form and he really showed that in South Africa.
“In that second Test he pretty much single-handedly brought us back into the game with his two tries and that’s great for someone who I think has been very unfairly criticised over the past couple of years.
“So for him to show everyone what he is capable of was fantastic. He’s one of England’s best and it was just a shame for him that he picked up an injury for the last Test.”
Croft, who admits he himself won’t be fit for the start of the new Aviva Premiership season with the Tigers, believes England are blessed in Youngs’ position, with Danny Care performing well as his replacement in the final match of the tour.
He said: “With Danny back in the fold as well it’s an exciting time for England, and we have got two great scrum-halves.
“I'm just pleased that Ben is showing everyone what he can do.”
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