Leicester vs Saracens LIVE: Rugby Premiership final result as Freddie Burns drop goal wins it for Tigers

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Leicester Tigers won their ninth Gallagher Premiership title after sinking Saracens 15-12 in a pulsating final at Twickenham as Freddie Burns’ dramatic drop goal with 20 seconds of normal time remaining saw them home.

Saracens’ hopes of completing a stunning rise from salary cap scandal and relegation humiliation to regain domestic silverware were dashed by the snarling Tigers.

Leicester overcame the first-half loss of injured talisman George Ford in his final appearance before joining Sale this summer to end a nine-year wait for title glory.

Tries by their South African back-row forwards Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese during an eight-minute spell in the second quarter underpinned Leicester’s victory.

Saracens scrum-half Aled Davies was off the field for both scores after being sin-binned following a high shoulder-led challenge on Tigers hooker Julian Montoya, although he was fortunate to avoid a red card.

Ford’s replacement Burns added a conversion before his dramatic clincher, while Saracens skipper Owen Farrell kicked three penalties and Elliot Daly one.

But Saracens’ dream of a sixth league crown being secured only 15 months after they were ambushed by Cornish Pirates in Penzance – following demotion to the Championship and a £5.36million fine for repeated salary cap breaches – was extinguished.

Follow the reaction from the Premiership final below.

Leicester vs Saracens

  • Leicester win their first Premiership title for nine years

  • FULL-TIME! Leicester Tigers 15-12 Saracens

  • 80’ - DROP GOAL! Freddie Burns wins it at the death for Leicester (15-12)

  • 75’ - PENALTY! Farrell levels it with a three-pointer (12-12)

  • HALF-TIME! Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens

  • 35’ - TRY! Wiese crashes over to extend Leicester’s lead (12-6)

  • 27’ - TRY! Liebenberg burrows over for Leicester Tigers (7-3)

  • 23’ - INJURY! George Ford hobbles off with an ankle injury in his final game for Leicester (0-3)

Dramatic Freddie Burns drop goal sees Leicester Tigers beat Saracens for first Premiership Rugby title in nine years

17:32 , Luke Baker

Leicester Tigers won their ninth Gallagher Premiership title after sinking Saracens 15-12 in a pulsating final at Twickenham as Freddie Burns’ dramatic drop goal with 20 seconds of normal time remaining saw them home.

Saracens’ hopes of completing a stunning rise from salary cap scandal and relegation humiliation to regain domestic silverware were dashed by the snarling Tigers.

Leicester overcame the first-half loss of injured talisman George Ford in his final appearance before joining Sale this summer to end a nine-year wait for title glory.

Tries by their South African back-row forwards Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese during an eight-minute spell in the second quarter underpinned Leicester’s victory.

Saracens scrum-half Aled Davies was off the field for both scores after being sin-binned following a high shoulder-led challenge on Tigers hooker Julian Montoya, although he was fortunate to avoid a red card.

Ford’s replacement Burns added a conversion before his dramatic clincher, while Saracens skipper Owen Farrell kicked three penalties and Elliot Daly one.

But Saracens’ dream of a sixth league crown being secured only 15 months after they were ambushed by Cornish Pirates in Penzance – following demotion to the Championship and a £5.36million fine for repeated salary cap breaches – was extinguished.

Late Freddie Burns drop goal sees Leicester beat Saracens for Premiership Rugby title

Leicester Tigers - 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership champions

17:18 , Luke Baker

Leicester Tigers are the 2021/22 Premiership Rugby champions

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Owen Farrell discusses Saracens’ defeat

17:16 , Luke Baker

Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell talks to BT Sport after the defeat.

“It was a game of not making too many mistakes. They were not playing anything in their half and I think it frustrated us.

“They’ve played well all season and carried that into today. They stuck to the game plan and when we made mistakes they punished us.

“There weren’t too many cracks in that game, when mistakes were made they punished us.”

Chris Ashton reacts to Tigers’ dramatic win

17:11 , Luke Baker

Chris Ashton speaks to 5 Live after the victory.

“I am knackered. I honestly never thought I’d see this day again. About four months ago I was sat in the garage at home and now I’m winning a Premiership.

“No-one gave us a chance, we had a free shot here today. It’s amazing, this group has worked so hard. Saracens are an amazing team but oh man, I can’t believe it.”

Leicester Tigers lift the trophy

17:10 , Luke Baker

And there’s the moment!

Leicester Tigers, captained by Ellis Genge, get their hands on the Gallagher Premiership trophy and hold it aloft as fireworks and confetti go off around them. What a moment.

From the dominance of the 90s and 2000s, Tigers dropped almost as low as it’s possible to go but they’ve rebuilt, climbed their way back up the league and with Steve Borthwick in charge, they’ve reached the summit of English rugby once more!

The celebrations are well underway at Twickenham

17:08 , Luke Baker

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

VIDEO: Freddie Burns wins the Premiership title for Leeicester Tigers with a late drop goal

17:06 , Luke Baker

Here’s the moment Freddie Burns wrote his name in Premiership Rugby history

Jasper Wiese reacts to Leicester victory

17:02 , Luke Baker

Jasper Wiese, one of the try-scorers was named Player of the Match and has given his reaction.

“It’s amazing. It shows how far we’ve come, shows the hard work we’ve put in through the season - I’m lost for words.

“It’s special. I think with some of the boys leaving, we said this is the last one together. It’s just special, I don’t know what to say - it’s unbelievable.

“We just said we wanted to play a style of rugby that would be unpredictable in attack and defence would be a key. Steve [Borthwick] and the coaching squad got it right this week.

“Everyone gave it 100 per cent for the boy next to them. The boys are tight, we play for each other and the fans help us every week.”

Leicester Tigers 15-12 Saracens

16:56 , Luke Baker

What a thrilling end to the game! Freddie Burns, who came on when George Ford got injured int he first half, is the hero


16:55 , Luke Baker


Freddie Burns’ drop goal with only 20 seconds left wins it for Tigers. Their first Premiership title in nine years!

Leicester Tigers 15-12 Saracens - 80 min

16:54 , Luke Baker

Freddie Steward rises high and claims the ball. Leicester recycle, feed Burns and he kicks out the back of the in-goal area!


Leicester Tigers 15-12 Saracens - 80 min

16:53 , Luke Baker

There will be time for the kick-off. Can Saracens keep the game alive?

DROP GOAL! Leicester Tigers 15-12 Saracens - 79 min

16:52 , Luke Baker

HE’S DONE IT! Burns lines up the drop goal with 20 seconds left from right of the posts and it’s slightly scuffed but it flies through! Tigers lead 15-12!

Leicester Tigers 12-12 Saracens - 79 min

16:52 , Luke Baker

Through the phases. Freddie Burns dropping back in the pocket. Tigers well in the 22, 30 seconds left.

Leicester Tigers 12-12 Saracens - 78 min

16:51 , Luke Baker

Box-kick from Tigers and they claim the loose ball! Ball spread right and Freddie Steward makes a few yards. They’re on the 22. Setting up for the drop goal?

Leicester Tigers 12-12 Saracens - 77 min

16:50 , Luke Baker

Tigers have the ball and they’re in the Saracens half but not really going anywhere. A lot of tired-looking players out there, lots of men walking! It’s been a brutal, physical contest.

PENALTY! Leicester Tigers 12-12 Saracens - 75 min

16:48 , Luke Baker

Billy Vunipola goes off for an HIA. That’s a loss for Sarries as well.

Penalty right in front of the posts and Farrell slots it. 12-12 heading into the final 4 minutes of the Premiership Final. Strap in!

SIN-BIN! Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 75 min

16:47 , Luke Baker

This doesn’t look good for Matt Scott. Shoulder to head and no mitigation, so he gets yellow carded. He’ll spend the rest of the match in the sin-bin, reducing Tigers to 14 men at a crucial moment...

Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 75 min

16:46 , Luke Baker

It is the pick and go from Vunipola and he barrels into the defence. Great tackle by Wiese and Matt Scott to stop the No 8, who then stays down.

Sarries win the penalty and the ref and TMO will take a look at replays of whether Scott’s hit on Vunipola was high

Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 73 min

16:44 , Luke Baker

Saracens deep in the Leicester 22 for probably the first time today and some nice link-up play between Farrell and George takes them within a few metres of the line.

Big moments! And Saracens eventually win a scrum just beyond the five-metre line. Billy Vunipola from the base?

Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 70 min

16:40 , Luke Baker

Freddie Burns looks to be struggling with cramp - Leicester could really do without losing him, given the ankle injury George Ford suffered earlier.

Freddie Steward takes this kick to touch and Tigers have the lineout just outside the 22. But Sarries defend it well, win the scrum and Ben Earl celebrates

Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 67 min

16:36 , Luke Baker

Billy Vunipola has been everywhere today and he claims another kick in the midst of a game of kick tennis but then a mistake.

Aled Davies feeds him the ball from short range and he drops it in contact - a Leicester scrum in Sarries’ half.

Saracens replacements as Mako Vunipola and Aled Davies are off with Eroni Mawi and Ivan van Zyl on.

PENALTY! Leicester Tigers 12-9 Saracens - 64 min

16:32 , Luke Baker

Easy penalty for Farrell from in front of the posts and he slots it between the uprights. Sarries are within three points with 16 minutes left.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 63 min

16:31 , Luke Baker

Penalty advantage for Sarries so a free play and on the 17th phase, Farrell dinks over the top but it’s claimed by Tigers so back we come for the penalty.

A slew of Leicester subs as Charlie Clare, Harry Wells, George Martin and most notably Ben Youngs coming on. Sarries will go for the posts

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 62 min

16:29 , Luke Baker

Saracens on the attack - they’ve barely been in the Tigers 22 all day.

They spread the ball to the right but Daly is just about held when he looked to have broken through and the attack stalls slightly after 10 phases.

Farrell spins through a tackle and they’re finally in the 22. Ben Earl with a big carry and Farrell then moves them even closer. Golden opportunity...

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 60 min

16:28 , Luke Baker

Here was the moment Elliot Daly saved a certain try by out-jumping Chris Ashton to claim Freddie Burns’ cross-field kick

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 59 min

16:25 , Luke Baker

Scott immediately carries hard for Leicester before Porter breaks the line- by slipping Jamie George’s tackle and Genge then takes them five metres out.

But again, Leicester can’t turn that into points as Billy Vunipola gets his hand on the ball and forces the turnover. Billy V has had a great game for Sarries

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 58 min

16:24 , Luke Baker

This has been compelling, if not exactly high-octane, stuff and as we head towards the final 20 minutes it’s all in the balance.

Ben Earl looks to have counter-rucked superbly but gets pinged for being off his feet at the breakdown. Burns finds touch from the penalty and Tigers again have a decent attacking platform from the lineout around the 22.

Moroni off and Matt Scott on in Leicester’s midfield.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 56 min

16:21 , Luke Baker

Young Leicester star Joe Heyes against warhorse Mako Vunipola in this scrum will be interesting. Round one to the veteran. Sarries win the scrum penalty and Farrell kicks to touch.

A good defensive set for Mark McCall’s men all round. Will Leicester regret not scoring?

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 54 min

16:20 , Luke Baker

Front-row change for Tigers as Joe Heyes on for Dan Cole.

Lineout maul again from Leicester, Itoje in there trying to disrupt with his long arms. It heads towards the touchline and Sarries eventually hold firm, locking the ball up and they will have the scrum! Well defended by the Londoners

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 53 min

16:18 , Luke Baker

Sarries defend the initial maul but Leicester put more and more players in. Eventually Genge carries and Leicester recycle from about 10 metres out.

Freddie Burns tries the crossfield kick to Chris Ashton but Elliot Daly rises highest to collect - brilliant, try-saving catch! Ashton recovers and drives him into touch though - another Leicester lineout within striking distance of the Sarries line.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 51 min

16:16 , Luke Baker

Driving maul from the lineout. It marches towards the line, penalty coming as Isiekwe pinged...

Maul stops, so Freddie Burns kicks to the corner again.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 50 min

16:15 , Luke Baker

Tigers win the penalty after a couple of phases as Montoya, who is having a great game, hides at the back of the maul and catches Vincent Koch offside.

Leicester kick to the corner...

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 49 min

16:14 , Luke Baker

Billy Vunipola gets beyond the gain-line with a carry and his brother Mako then takes the ball forward in the next phase.

But eventually Leicester turn it over and thunder a clearance miles down the field which Sarries chase back but touch while trying to keep in play and Leicester have the lienout on the 22. Great attacking platform

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 47 min

16:11 , Luke Baker

Leicester twice turn the ball over at the breakdown inside their own half but opt to kick the ball back in response.

The second one does find some grass over the head of the defence, which looks set to give them good field position but a great return to touch means Tigers will have the lineout ten metres inside their own half

MISS! Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 43 min

16:08 , Luke Baker

Burns has the distance and the ball tries to arc back inside the left post but it’s just the wrong side of the upright. Still 12-6

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 42 min

16:07 , Luke Baker

Leicester with the first sustained run of phases in the second half. They spread the ball wide left where Harry Potter makes some ground.

Sarries pinged for not rolling away in the tackle and Freddie Burns elects to go for the posts. Five metres in from the touchline, 10 minutes inside the Sarries half. - not a simple kick, probably 50m with the angle.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 40 min

16:04 , Luke Baker

Back underway at Twickenham as Freddie Burns kicks the ball deep

Saracens have made a half-time sub as Sean Maitland, who was struggling with an injury in that first half is off, with Alex Lozowski on.

VIDEO: Jasper Wiese goes over for Leicester Tigers’ second try

16:00 , Luke Baker

Leicester scored two tries in that first half and a combination of deftness and power saw Jasper Wiese - their primary ball-carrier - crash over for the second try

VIDEO: Aled Davies sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle

15:58 , Luke Baker

Saracens scrum-half Aled Davies was yellow carded for making contact to the head of Julian Montoya with his shoulder. Could this have been a red?

VIDEO: Hanro Liebenberg scores Leicester’s first try

15:56 , Luke Baker

Hanro Liebenberg burrowed over for Tigers’ first try

VIDEO: George Ford goes off injured

15:53 , Luke Baker

Let’s run you through some key moments of that first half at Twickenham, starting with the injury that forced George Ford off injured in his final game for Leicester.

Not what the England fly-half deserved

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens

15:52 , Luke Baker

Only twice in Premiership Rugby final history have teams come from behind at half-time to win. That was Wasps 18 years ago and Saracens 6 years ago.

Sarries will fancy their chances of turning this round and adding a third occasion to that list. They’re only one score behind at the break

HALF-TIME! Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 40 min

15:48 , Luke Baker

One final attacking opportunity for Saracens as they try a few phases around halfway but the ball is knocked on and that’s half-time.

Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese tries have Leicester on top at Twickenham but Saracens are still within a score. A compelling 40 minutes with all to play for after the break.

Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 38 min

15:46 , Luke Baker

Back to 15 men and Saracens back on the attack. Gorgeous offload from the floor by Farrell, before a couple of phases later, Farrell dinks a grubber ball that looks to have Steward in all sorts of trouble on his own line.

Somehow the England full-back powers forward from almost behind the line to around ten metres out and then wins the penalty at the breakdown, allowing Leicester to clear. Incredible escapology from Steward.

CONVERSION MISSED! Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 36 min

15:44 , Luke Baker

A tough conversion for Freddie Burns from relatively wide on the right and he puts it wide. Just the five-point score for Tigers.

Saracens now back to a full complement on 15 men but Sarries have gone from 3-0 up to 12-6 down during the time Aled Davies has been in the sin-bin

TRY! Leicester Tigers 12-6 Saracens - 35 min

15:42 , Luke Baker

First scrum collapses, as does the second and it’s a penalty to Tigers, against loosehead prop Mako Vunipola for collapsing.

Tap and go penalty from Genge, he gets inches out and the ball is popped to Jasper Wiese on crash ball and HE’S OVER!

Try number two for Leicester!

Leicester Tigers 7-6 Saracens - 32 min

15:40 , Luke Baker

Chaos at Twickenham! Wigglesworth charges down Farrell’s kick and Ashton seizes on the loose ball. He tries the little kick inside that almost falls to Moroni but Sarries scramble back, Farrell manages to get his hands on the ball and he’s tackled behind his own line.

So close to a try but still a five-metre scrum for Leicester. Can they convert this into points?

PENALTY! Leicester Tigers 7-6 Saracens - 30 min

15:38 , Luke Baker

Billy Vunipola brilliantly catches the kick-off and makes good ground on the return run.

Saracens win a penalty on halfway and the bigger boot of Elliot Daly gets the nod to go from the tee from 49m. The England international has the distance and it’s just inside the right post. The deficit is reduced to a single point by 14-man Sarries.

CONVERSION! Leicester Tigers 7-3 Saracens - 28 min

15:35 , Luke Baker

Freddie Burns adds the conversion and Tigers make the most of their man advantage to take the lead with the game’s first try!

TRY! Leicester Tigers 5-3 Saracens - 27 min

15:34 , Luke Baker

Leicester with a man advantage immediately attack. Steward makes a break and feeds Chris Ashton - who in his storied career has never scored in a Prem Final - and the ball is three metres away.

A couple of phases and Hanro Liebenberg drives his legs, with Dan Cole assisting him for the push over the line. TRY for Leicester.

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 25 min - YELLOW CARD!

15:32 , Luke Baker

Another potentially huge moment. Aled Davies tackles a dipping Montoya and his shoulder makes contact with the Leicester player’s head.

He could be in trouble here...

Discussion between Wayne Barnes and his TMO. He says the degree of danger was just below high, so it’s only a yellow card for Davies. The Tigers fans in the crowd express their displeasure that it wasn’t red.

SUB - Ford OFF. Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 23 min

15:27 , Luke Baker

Ford is trying out his ankle to see how much weight he can put on it. He shakes his head and it looks like he’s coming off.

Freddie Burns, a very capable fly-half, will come on for Ford but he’s Leicester’s talisman. Not the way he would want to end his time at Tigers - he’s joining Sale Sharks this summer.

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 23 min

15:25 , Luke Baker

This is potentially bad news for Leicester Tigers and George Ford, he’s down receiving treatment.

He made a weaving run in midfield and as he stepped past Aled Davies, his right foot appeared to give way slightly. A potential ankle injury - would be a huge loss for Leicester.

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 22 min

15:24 , Luke Baker

Saracens assistant coach Kelly Brown gives his thoughts on the final so far.

“It’s tense, it’s a physical game of chesss. Lots of kicking, so we’ve got to stay in that. A good kick is either one we chase and get back or it’s a long kick that finds space. Leicester are a good team, we know that and we know they kick well.”

MISS! Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 21 min

15:23 , Luke Baker

Billy Vunipola caught offside on the fringe as he plays Wigglesworth early. Penalty just left of centre for Leicester, about five metres in the Saracens half and George Ford lines it up.

It has the distance but drifts wide right. Saracens still lead

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 18 min

15:19 , Luke Baker

Brilliant footwork from Billy Vunipola! He steps two men off the base of the scrum and offloads to Max Malins. Sublime from the No 8 - are you watching, Eddie Jones?!

Malins’ subsequent kick then slips into touch and although Leicester are forced back they win a penalty just in front of their own line and clear their lines.

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 16 min

15:18 , Luke Baker

One scrum reset and on the second attempt, Sarries win a massive penalty! Referee Wayne Barnes explains that Dan Cole lost his bind - the veteran prop costing his side. Huge turnover

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 14 min

15:16 , Luke Baker

Mistake from Aled Davies, as he drops Wigglesworth’s up-and-under just outside his own 22. Tigers collect and this is a better attacking platform for Leicester.

Ashton grubbers through, it forces Davies back to his own line, he gets the ball off to Goode but he’s swallowed up by converging Tigers. He’s forced back over his own line and it will be a five-metre scrum for Leicester. A first real chance for them

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 12 min

15:13 , Luke Baker

Maitland takes the ball into contact but the Leicester pack pinch it at the breakdown. They quickly opt for the aerial route but Ford’s up-and-under is too long and another mark called in the Sarries 22.

Steward then tries a little chip over the top around halfway, which goes into touch. Very cagey from both sides so far.

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 10 min

15:11 , Luke Baker

Saracens are probably edging the aerial exchanges at this point. Steward overhits a kick and Goode can comfortably take a mark in the 22. His return to touch gives Sarries the territory advantage. Tigers will have to build from lineout ball just outside their own 22

Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 7 min

15:09 , Luke Baker

A bit of kick tennis as the kicking options for both sides feel each other out. Eventually Farrell finds touch just inside the Tigers half.

Porter tries a weaving run off first-phase lineout ball but hit hard by Mako Vunipola. Eventually Wigglesworth box kicks away and an exchange of kicks ends with Isiekwe catching a scuffed Steward kick but knocking on for Saracens in contact

PENALTY! Leicester Tigers 0-3 Saracens - 4 min

15:06 , Luke Baker

It’s bang in front and England skipper Owen Farrell makes no mistake as he bangs the ball between the uprights. Sarries on the board first

Leicester Tigers 0-0 Saracens - 3 min

15:05 , Luke Baker

Good Sarries scrum but Tigers defence sets and keeps their opponents outside the 22. Guy Porter then storms out of the line and smothers Farrell as he’s about to stab a grubber through.

Turnover and Leicester clear. But it’s brought back for an earlier late tackle by Liebenberg. Farrell will take a shot at the posts

Leicester Tigers 0-0 Saracens - 1 min

15:03 , Luke Baker

An early test for Freddie Steward as Owen Farrell sticks a bomb high in the Twickenham air. Steward is one of the best in the world under the high ball but he spills it.

An early scrum as an attacking base for Sarries

KICK-OFF! Leicester Tigers 0-0 Saracens

15:01 , Luke Baker

Underway at Twickenham.

Mako Vunipola leads out Saracens

14:59 , Luke Baker

Mako Vunipola, making his 200th appearance for Saracens today, leads the Londoners out on to the Twickenham pitch, accompanied by his young sons Jacob and Joshua.

Lovely moment but it will be all business for Mako and co from here.

Warm-ups completed

14:58 , Luke Baker

Warm-ups complete and the teams are out on the Twickenham pitch

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

14:56 , Luke Baker

A last reminder of today’s line-ups with kick-off imminent at Rugby HQ.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Guy Porter, 11 Harry Potter, 10 George Ford, 9 Richard Wigglesworth; 1 Ellis Genge (c), 2 Julián Montoya, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Ollie Chessum, 5 Calum Green, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Harry Wells, 20 George Martin, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Matt Scott

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Max Malins, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Aled Davies; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Theo McFarland, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Jackson Wray, 20 Andy Christie, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Alex Lozowski

Key stats ahead of the final

14:53 , Luke Baker

Here are some stats that OPTA have provided ahead of the final

  • This will be the third time that Leicester Tigers and Saracens have met in a Premiership final, having also played each other in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 finals, with the record currently standing at one win apiece; both ties were decided by fewer than seven points.

  • Saracens have won nine of their last 11 games against Leicester in the Premiership, however the two sides were evenly split this season, winning one game apiece in the regular season, with both fixtures being decided by seven points or fewer.

  • Saracens have averaged 151 tackles per game in the Premiership this season, more than any other team, also averaging the third most dominant tackles (6.0); meanwhile, Leicester have averaged the joint most turnover-winning tackles this campaign (3.1 also Sale).

  • Leicester Tigers’ George Ford is the top point scorer in the Premiership this season (220), having kicked the most penalties of any player (42); Saracens’ Owen Farrell has the best goal-kicking success rate of any player to attempt more than 10 kicks at goal (84%) – the average goal-kicker would have been expected to slot just 75% based on the difficulty of those kicks.

  • Saracens’ Max Malins leads the try-scoring charts in this season’s Premiership (16), while his teammates Ben Earl (11) and Tom Woolstencroft (10) are also in double digits for tries scored this term; Earl has also completed more tackles than any other player this term (347).

Last time they met

14:51 , Luke Baker

Saracens took the spoils in a 34-27 victory over Leicester at StoneX Stadium when these two met earlier in the season.

In a game played during the Six Nations, which of course meant that some of the stars were missing, Tigers took the lead through Eli Snyman but Sarries were too strong and tries via Tom Woolstencroft, Alex Lewington, Sean Maitland and Vincent Koch put them in control.

Leicester fought back and scores from Nic Dolly and Ollie Chessum gave them hope, but Woolstencroft touched down late on to seal the win for the hosts.

Team arrivals

14:47 , Luke Baker

Both teams were greeted by a wall of supporters when they arrived at Rugby HQ earlier.

The teams for today’s final

14:43 , Luke Baker

A reminder how the sides line up for today’s Gallagher Premiership final.

Veteran scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth is preferred to Ben Youngs for Leicester, while the Premiership’s all-time top try scorer Chris Ashton starts on the wing.

Saracens make just one change from the semi-final starting XV that beat Harlequins as Nick Isiekwe comes into the second row for Tim Swinson. Mako Vunipola will make his 200th Sarries appearance, while the likes of England internationals Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly and Max Malins also start.

Elliot Daly credits Eddie Jones and pub meeting for Saracens’ return to top

14:39 , Luke Baker

Elliot Daly has revealed a meeting between Saracens’ senior players at a pub in St Albans was the start of their journey to another Gallagher Premiership final.

Mark McCall’s side are looking to become English champions for a sixth time at Twickenham today when they take on Leicester.

Leicester were the side to benefit from Sarries being relegated for repeated salary cap breaches in 2020 with an eventual 70-point deduction, which meant Tigers did not come bottom of the table and go down.

It was a tumultuous time for Saracens, who first discovered they had breached Premiership salary cap rules in November 2019 but only found out they would suffer relegation months later in January.

Daly reflected on how a meeting in the Wicked Lady pub resulted in the club’s senior players committing to staying and the journey back to the top flight in essence started there.

Elliot Daly credits Eddie Jones and pub meeting for Saracens’ return to top

England lock Maro Itoje never had any doubt Saracens would return to top table

14:35 , Luke Baker

Maro Itoje never had any doubt Saracens would be back competing for the biggest prizes but has admitted it would be an “amazing achievement” to secure more Twickenham success.

The StoneX Stadium club are back in the Gallagher Premiership final, 12 months after a two-legged victory over Ealing earned promotion from the second tier.

Sarries’ relegation to the Championship in 2020 was expected to be the end of an era for the north London club, who had won five league titles and three European crowns during a glittering decade of success before being shamed by the salary cap scandal.

However, for England international Itoje it was a matter of when, not if they would return to the home of English rugby to battle for honours again.

“I felt Saracens was the best place for me to continue to grow as a rugby player and as a person and I still felt certain towards it being an environment where I could achieve all my goals,” the lock said.

England lock Maro Itoje never had any doubt Saracens would return to top table

Twickenham getting ready

14:31 , Luke Baker

Only 30 mins until kick-off and it promises to be a raucous atmosphere at Twickenham today. Harlequins’ victory in last year’s Premiership Final was only in front of 10,000 fans, so it’s great to have a full crowd again

‘Bad words’ helped spur Saracens towards Premiership final

14:29 , Luke Baker

World Cup winner Vincent Koch believes the “bad words” aimed at Saracens helped underpin their recovery from relegation to contesting another Gallagher Premiership title.

Saracens will secure the Premiership crown for a sixth time in 12 seasons if they topple Leicester at Twickenham today

It is barely 15 months since they were beaten by Cornish Pirates after being demoted to the Championship following repeated salary cap breaches.

South Africa international Koch started that game at the Mennaye Field in Penzance and he has been a key part of Saracens’ rapid renaissance under rugby director Mark McCall.

‘Bad words’ helped spur Saracens towards Premiership final

Freddie Burns ready to complete ‘unfinished business’ in Premiership final

14:23 , Luke Baker

Freddie Burns says that a Gallagher Premiership title triumph would “mean the world” to him as his 13th season of professional rugby heads towards a Twickenham finale.

The 32-year-old returns to a ground where he marked his Test debut by helping England beat New Zealand in 2012.

Now in his second spell with Leicester, Burns has also featured for Gloucester, Bath and Japanese club Toyota Jido Shokki during a much-travelled career.

Burns’ versatility as a fly-half and full-back has proved invaluable for Tigers boss Steve Borthwick this season.

And he is set to continue that key bench role on Saturday when Leicester’s first Premiership final appearance for nine years sees them tackling fellow English heavyweights Saracens.

Freddie Burns ready to complete ‘unfinished business’ in Premiership final

Biggest game of my life, says Ellis Gange

14:13 , Lawrence Ostlere

Leicester captain Ellis Genge has described today’s Gallagher Premiership final against Saracens as the biggest game of his career.

Genge, who has won 36 England caps and been part of a World Cup squad, will make his Tigers farewell at Twickenham.

The 27-year-old Bristolian says he is “at peace” with his decision, which was announced six months ago, to join his hometown club later this summer.

And whatever happens this weekend, he will leave a club that he has helped revitalise from relegation candidates to title contenders in just two years.

Leicester finished 11th in the Premiership for two successive seasons - 2019 and 2020 - and won just 13 of their 44 league games over that period.

But they are now chasing league silverware again, nine years after their last Twickenham triumph.

“It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of good people putting a lot of time in away from the scenes, outside working hours, to get us where we are,” Genge said.

“I made a pact a long time ago that I would never leave Tigers if they were in a dark hole.

“I had all sorts of offers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to go elsewhere when we were bottom of the pile, and I said I wanted to stick it out and see brighter days.

“So, I can hopefully leave on Saturday with my head held high.

“I want to be with my family. I just want to be accessible for my family. I am at peace with it (his move to Bristol).

“I’ve still got my stuff in the changing rooms. I haven’t packed up, I still live up here, and I’ve got the biggest game of my career on Saturday, and I will wait until after that for thinking about that stuff.”

Ellis Genge (centre) in Premiership action for Leicester this season (Isaac Parkin/PA) (PA Wire)
Ellis Genge (centre) in Premiership action for Leicester this season (Isaac Parkin/PA) (PA Wire)

Mako Vunipola hails brother Billy ahead of final

14:07 , Lawrence Ostlere

Mako Vunipola has hailed the “massive” influence of his brother and fellow England international Billy on Saracens this season.

Mako was named in an England training squad last month, but number eight Billy continues to be overlooked by Red Rose boss Eddie Jones.

They have 128 caps between them, yet neither player has featured for their country since the final game of last year’s Six Nations.

Both will be in the shop window on Saturday, though, when Saracens tackle Gallagher Premiership final opponents Leicester 48 hours before Jones announces his squad for three Tests against Australia next month.

“The key for us is to make sure we focus on the present, what is in front of us in terms of playing well for Saracens, which I feel he has done, and that is all he can do,” Mako said.

“As rugby players, we are emotional, we want to be playing, we still want to be playing for England. To do that hasn’t changed,

“We’ve still got to play well for our club and do our job, and then you go from there, really. Those decisions (selection) aren’t in our hands.

“I am a bit biased, obviously, but for us this year he has been massive, just giving us that go-forward that we need.

“Whenever there is a need for us to get a kick up the backside, he is there most of the time to do it.”

Brothers Mako Vunipola (left) and Billy Vunipola with the Heineken Champions Cup (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)
Brothers Mako Vunipola (left) and Billy Vunipola with the Heineken Champions Cup (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)

Leicester vs Saracens: Talking points ahead of Premiership final

13:59 , Lawrence Ostlere

Leicester Tigers and Saracens will contest the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday in a heavyweight collision between two English rugby giants.

Tigers have won the title eight times but their last triumph was nine years ago, while Saracens are chasing a sixth crown after returning to the Premiership this season.

Here we assess some key talking points heading into the game.

Talking points ahead of Premiership final between Leicester and Saracens

Harry Latham-Coyle’s match preview

13:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

Neither man is particularly fond of undue nostalgic recollection but as Leicester’s Steve Borthwick and Saracens’ Mark McCall engage in pre-match pleasantries at Twickenham on Saturday, there may just be a shared smile at the memory of the last Premiership final meeting between these two sides. Now in opposition, McCall and Borthwick then basked in triumph as coach and captain, having guided Saracens to the first of the five domestic crowns that now crowd the cabinet at their north London home.

It is 11 years since that encounter, the second of two consecutive showpiece deciders that offered the first inklings of a changing of the Premiership dynastic guard as Leicester’s empire began to fall and Saracens developed into the side of ruthless winners that would define the next era of English club rugby.

How the mighty fell.

Leicester meet Saracens in Premiership final covered in nostalgia

The teams

13:46 , Lawrence Ostlere

Leicester XV: Steward; Ashton, Moroni, Porter, Potter; Ford, Wigglesworth; Genge (capt), Montoya, Cole, Chessum, Green, Liebenberg, Reffell, Wiese.

Replacements: Clare, Leatigaga, Heyes, Wells, Martin, Youngs, Burns, Scott.

Saracens XV: Goode; Malins, Daly, Tompkins, Maitland; Farrell (capt), Davies; M Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Isiekwe, McFarland, Earl, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Pifeleti, Mawi, Clarey, Wray, Christie, Van Zyl, Taylor, Lozowski.

Dan Cole appreciates Premiership Final appearance after barren Tigers run

13:42 , Lawrence Ostlere

Dan Cole can recall a time when it was “automatic” for Leicester Tigers to reach the Gallagher Premiership play-offs and final.

But the fact their last Twickenham appearance in English rugby’s showpiece domestic occasion was nine years ago has brought a level of appreciation to today’s final against Saracens.

Dan Cole more appreciative of Premiership Final appearance after barren Leicester run

Mark McCall is the reason Saracens are back in the big time, says Owen Farrell

13:34 , Lawrence Ostlere

Owen Farrell has spoken of his admiration for Mark McCall and insisted the consistency of “the boss” alongside his coaching team is the reason Saracens are attempting to become English champions for a sixth time in 11 years.

The StoneX Stadium side face Leicester Tigers at Twickenham on Saturday looking to end their first season back in the Gallagher Premiership with more silverware.

Relegation two years ago for repeated breaches of salary cap regulations was meant to be the end of a trophy-laden era for Sarries, who have won five league titles and three European crowns since McCall was appointed director of rugby back in 2011.

Instead, the experienced Northern Irishman managed to keep the squad together – despite dropping into the Championship – and is now on the brink of a further prize at the home of English rugby.

Mark McCall is the reason Saracens are back in the big time, says Owen Farrell

Leicester vs Saracens – Rugby Premiership final

13:29 , Lawrence Ostlere

Leicester Tigers take on Saracens as the two most decorated sides in English rugby union this century go head to head at Twickenham to be crowned Premiership champions.

The Gallagher Premiership trophy awaits the winner at Twickenham (Getty Images)
The Gallagher Premiership trophy awaits the winner at Twickenham (Getty Images)
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