Sealing Tigers title a childhood dream, says Burns

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Freddie Burns holds the Premiership trophy aloft
Freddie Burns earned his first Premiership title since beginning his English top-flight profession 13 years in the past

Freddie Burns says he realised a childhood dream as he kicked Leicester to an eleventh Premiership title with a last-minute drop-goal in opposition to Saracens.

The ex-England fly-half, 32, who has performed greater than 200 Premiership video games, sealed the 15-12 win in his first look within the showpiece occasion.

He got here off the bench within the last to interchange the injured George Ford.

“On the age of 5 I had two targets – to play for my nation and to win a Premiership,” mentioned Burns.

“To win a Premiership is particular, however to win it at this membership with this group of gamers means greater than something.”

Burns returned from a stint enjoying in Japan to re-join Tigers this season, having made 75 appearances for the East Midlands aspect between 2014 and 2017.

He advised BBC Radio Leicester he feared he had blown a drop-goal likelihood earlier, and admitted it regarded as if Tigers have been “lifeless and buried” when Owen Farrell landed a late penalty to stage the scores at 12-12 in opposition to 14-man Leicester, who had Matt Scott sin-binned 4 minutes from the tip.

“We’re at all times within the battle,” Burns continued. “We’re by no means lifeless – we’ve confirmed that again and again.”

Tigers winger Chris Ashton praised Burns for “taking his likelihood when he got here on” in tough circumstances, as a substitute for influential fly-half Ford – who per week earlier scored 22 factors of their 27-14 semi-final win in opposition to Northampton.

“That is how good of a participant he’s,” Ashton advised BBC Radio 5 Stay.

“This week he was truly telling me a few drop-goal out in Japan that he tried to win a sport and he fully missed, so who’d have thought that he’d have the possibility immediately to win it for Leicester?”

Tigers head coach Borthwick, who has overseen Leicester’s rise again to the summit of the English sport in simply his second full season at Welford Street, hailed Burns as “phenomenal” after the sport at Twickenham.

“He’s an unimaginable character who has added enormously to the group on the pitch, but additionally off the pitch,” Borthwick mentioned.

‘We have been suffocated’

Saracens boss Mark McCall congratulated Tigers on a “phenomenal season” having been prime of the desk on the finish of each regular-season spherical earlier than occurring to win the ultimate.

“They have been the higher group and deserved to win the match,” McCall mentioned.

“They trapped us in our half for lengthy durations and backed that up with good defensive work. We have been a bit suffocated. We did not get anyplace close to our greatest.

“Hopefully we will use the ache that we’ll really feel over the subsequent few days in a constructive solution to come again stronger subsequent summer season.”

Crushed Saracens hooker Jamie George acknowledged Tigers had been the higher aspect, however mentioned he was disenchanted within the method of the defeat.

“It is powerful. Horrible, actually. We did not present up and that is essentially the most disappointing factor,” he mentioned.

“A few of our massive gamers did not present up,” added George.

The England man likened Leicester’s efficiency to the model that his personal aspect employed to nice impact to win so many home and European honours.

“They play a fairly conventional model of rugby and after they get forward they’re actually arduous to beat as they maintain pinning you again, a bit just like the Saracens of outdated,” mentioned George.

“We did not have a solution to it immediately and that’s disappointing.”

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