Premiership: Leicester Tigers’ Freddie Burns eyes long-awaited title

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Leicester Tigers playmaker Freddie Burns reveals the reason he returned from Japan is due to unfinished business with the Premiership.

Burns has been a valuable figure for coach Steve Borthwick due to his versatility in operating at both full-back and fly-half, making him a key player on the bench.

Huge opportunity

The veteran is in his 13th season and has never played in a Premiership final. However, Burns is looking forward to the clash and explained how important a title would be for him and the Tigers.

“The reason I came back from Japan was that I felt there was a bit of unfinished business,” Burns said.

“It has been a 13-14 year career, and I think I have played in three or four Premiership semi-finals and never made it to the big occasion.

“To have slogged for as long as I have and to finally get this opportunity and potentially be part of something special is huge.

“It would mean everything. I can’t express how much I want it. Even talking about it, I feel the emotion.

“It would mean the world to me, to Leicester as a city and Leicester as a club.

“It is so difficult to reach a final. I remember speaking with Tom Youngs when I first signed at Leicester, and the way he described it was that one team succeeds and 11 fail.

“This year it’s 13 teams in the Premiership, and 12 fail, and that kind of stuck with me. No-one really remembers who comes second.

“You are proud of the accomplishment of reaching a final, but it kind of counts for nothing unless we go and win the thing on Saturday.

“It has been a good season for us to reach a final in the manner that we have, but at the same time we are desperate to win something, and if aren’t winning it on Saturday then we will feel like we have fallen short.”

Tigers have been resurgent under Borthwick and finished the regular season at the top of the pile after nearly being relegated in 2020. Burns is proud of how the squad has fought for their position this season and credited his coach for the incredible job done.

“I think for us as a squad, I’ve just been proud of the fight we have shown all year,” Burns added.

“We got lucky a little bit early in the season, but it came from staying in the fight. I’ve played in a team of fighters that scrap for everything and look after each other, and I couldn’t be prouder of that.

“A lot of credit has to go to Steve and the coaching staff and what they have instilled in the boys, but again, it’s the fact that we hang in there and are a tough team to play against.

“If you are in the fight, then things can happen. It’s not about flashy skill-sets or anything like that, it is about working hard for your mates.

“I know the beauty of the Premiership is a team can sneak into fourth place and still go and win it, but I think you are getting the two best teams consistently over the season playing each other on Saturday, which should make for a great game.”

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