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Gallagher Premiership Rugby FInal 2022

The official match programme from the 2022 Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final played at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday June 18th between Leicester Tigers and Saracens

The official match programme from the 2022 Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final played at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday June 18th between Leicester Tigers and Saracens

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OFFICIAL SOUVENIR

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME | £10

LEICESTER TIGERS

v SARACENS

TWICKENHAM STADIUM

SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2022

KICK-OFF 3PM

ARACENSSARA

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TIGERSLEICESTERTIGER

ACENSSARACENSSARA

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SSARACENSSARACENS

RTIGERSLEICESTERTIGER

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E

GA M ITS TOP OF

ISK Y

NO.1 W H U K’ S

PROUD SPONSOR OF

THE SPIRIT OF RUGBY


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

WELCOME FROM

PREMIERSHIP

RUGBY

On behalf of everyone at

Premiership Rugby, I take

great pride in welcoming

you all to Twickenham

Stadium for this

unmissable 2022 Gallagher

Premiership Rugby Final

between Leicester Tigers

and Saracens.

This moment is an extremely poignant

one for everyone at Premiership Rugby

given the disruption the sport has

experienced over the last three years.

Twelve months ago, only 10,000 fans were

able to attend one of the greatest Finals

ever so the prospect of seeing the stands

full of fans again will be a special moment

for all involved and a perfect occasion to

end this very special season.

And what a season it has been. It is one

of the most competitive we have ever

had: with almost 50% of matches falling

within a seven-point margin, a record

1,038 tries, and an unpredictable narrative

that has seen three new teams qualify for

the semi-finals. It is a season where we

have seen record broadcast figures and

loyal fans return to our stadiums over two

million times to watch the sport they love.

We believe that Gallagher Premiership

Rugby is now one of the great sporting

competitions and our vision is to ensure

the Final elevates to the national sporting

moment it deserves. We have looked to

broaden the audience this year by putting

the game on free-to-air television for the

first time with ITV to amplify the worldclass

coverage BT Sport provides. We are

also looking to augment today’s quality

rugby with some sparkling entertainment

in the West Fan Village with acts from The

Feeling, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and after the

match DJ Ryan Arnold. Our partners have

also joined us with a myriad of games and

activities in the same area to keep you

entertained.

Today wouldn’t be possible without our

partners whose support throughout the

last few years has been exceptional. BT

Sport continue to set new standards for

quality rugby broadcasting, and we are

extremely grateful for their unwavering

commitment to both domestic but also

European rugby. A big thank you also

to Sunset & Vine who produce the live

matches, to ITV and 3 Rock who create

the ever-popular Sunday evening free-toair

highlights programme which rounds

off each weekend’s action.

And as we enter our second term with

our title partner, our relationship with

Gallagher has become far more than the

action on the pitch. It is very clear how

passionately Gallagher employees feel

about rugby and how they want to make

a difference in the game. I was honoured

to be at the StoneX stadium earlier in the

season when we welcomed our 75,000th

new player onto the Project Rugby

Programme which we run with England

Rugby and Gallagher, with many of their

staff volunteering at the events. We also

welcome a group of Gallagher cyclists

who have cycled with the trophy from

Newcastle to Twickenham Stadium today

raising money for the Wooden Spoon.

Thank you also to our new partners

Ticketmaster and London Pride who are

just completing their first full season

with us, The Famous Grouse who have

added a huge amount since joining the

Premiership Rugby family in November

2020 and our long-standing partners

Gilbert and Land Rover who are part of

the Premiership Rugby fabric now.

A number of our partners are also

involved in Premiership Rugby’s

community work and today we host more

than 100 players from Project Rugby

on the hallowed turf at half-time while

hundreds more from the Land Rover

Premiership Rugby Cup tournaments, that

we have held this season, parade around

the pitch.

Premiership Rugby wouldn’t exist in its

current form of course without our Club

Owners. Many of them have been with us

for 20 years or longer and their unstinting

support not only of their clubs but of

the community around those clubs is

often unrecognised but is inspiring and

hugely appreciated by those who work

in the game. Equally, I’d like to thank our

investors CVC who have been a positive

influence over this period and we look

forward to working with them over the

coming years to grow the game.

Finally congratulations to our finalists

Leicester Tigers and Saracens, who

last played together in a Premiership

Final in 2011, when Saracens emerged

22-18 winners. Both teams have had an

exceptional season and we look forward

to seeing how they play today. I hope

everyone enjoys the occasion and best of

luck to both teams.

Best Wishes,

Simon Massie-Taylor

CHIEF EXECUTIVE, PREMIERSHIP RUGBY

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

3


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

It’s massively exciting for everyone at the club to be back at

Twickenham today for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.

Looking back over the season there have been a number of

highlights, not least The Showdown 2 at Tottenham Hotspur

Stadium which was a huge event for the whole club and it was

a very proud moment to see us run out at such an iconic venue.

It has been a huge group effort all season to get us to this

point and I am incredibly grateful to all our players and staff for

all of their efforts and for making this year so enjoyable.

We face a Leicester Tigers team today who have had a superb

season, and huge credit must go to Steve Borthwick and his

coaching team. Steve was a great captain for our club and it is

no surprise that he is having such a huge impact as a coach.

We are also bidding farewell to a number of players this

afternoon and I would like to thank them for everything they

have done for the club.

Tim Swinson, Richard Barrington, Vincent Koch, Elliott

Obatoyinbo, Sean Reffell, Janco Venter, Tom Mills and Charlie

Watson have all been fantastic for us and we wish them and

their families well for the future.

The support that we have received this season from our fans

has been remarkable and we cannot thank them enough. There

is something special building at StoneX Stadium and we hope

to give our supporters another reason to cheer today as we

head towards the break in the summer.

We have had a very enjoyable week and can’t wait to get out

there today for this fantastic occasion.

Today is an exciting day for everybody at Leicester Tigers.

Whether you are a player, coach, staff member, supporter, sponsor –

we have reached this season’s Final on the back of all of your efforts.

We have not been here for a long time and, after recent seasons

where the club was not been taking part in big games like today’s at

Twickenham, I am sure it feels even more special.

The challenge is a big one, an exciting one, against a formidable

team in Saracens. We know that and we are looking forward to it.

The focus for us has not changed from Round 1 of this season’s

Gallagher Premiership Rugby; every single week we have gone out

with the intention of delivering a performance that will make our

supporters, our families and our friends proud.

As a group, we are still very early on in our journey together and

have experienced plenty of highs and lows in a short space of time

alongside one another. But, from all of them, we have grown tighter

and we have learned something to help carry the club forward.

Today is another step on the journey, a big step, and the players

have worked tirelessly to be prepared to deliver on making

everyone at Leicester Tigers proud with their performance.

The bond between the club and our supporters feels stronger every

day and I hope that you, the fans, can see how much your support

means to us.

Since fans were allowed back in the stands, Leicester Tigers

supporters have flooded through the gates at Mattioli Woods

Welford Road and throughout away venues in England and Europe,

which has helped us compete on the pitch with the incredible

support behind us.

The pandemic showed everybody not only how much our game

needs supporters in the stands, but also how privileged we are to

have the competition, the backing and the occasions – like today –

as part of what we do.

Thank you to everybody who got our game through that time and

have made this season such an exciting, entertaining and enjoyable

one for all who are a part of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

Finally, to everybody at Leicester Tigers, thank you for helping us be

here today.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

OFFICE ADDRESS

Premiership Rugby

7th Floor, Regal House

70 London Road

Twickenham

Middlesex

TW1 3QS

T: 020 8831 7900

F: 020 8831 7901

E: info@premiershiprugby.com

Premiership Rugby

Media enquiries

E: communications@

premiershiprugby.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

@premrugby

/PremiershipRugby

@premrugby

/PremiershipRugby

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Editor: Paul Morgan

PHOTOGRAPHY

Getty Images

THANKS TO

Gary Sherrard, Sam Williamson,

Oli Shapley, Andy Baber, Josh

Graham, Charlie Bennett, Jonny

Bray, Charlotte Heywood, Harriet

Walker, Robin Rowbottom,

Jennifer Spink and Katie Bartlett

WHAT’S ON TV

Premiership Rugby will break

new ground at this year’s

Final, as it is the first time our

Premiership Final has been

shown on terrestrial TV in the

UK. The programme on ITV4

is simulcast with the alwaysexcellent

coverage on BT Sport,

which kicks off at 2.15pm.

Around the globe a number

of new overseas TV contracts

takes the 2021-22 Gallagher

Premiership Rugby season to a

global audience of more than

243 million households in 145

territories.

Today is another step

on the journey, a big

step, and the players

have worked tirelessly to

be prepared to deliver

on making everyone at

Leicester Tigers proud

with their performance

[ LEICESTER TIGERS HEAD COACH ]

STEVE

BORTHWICK

All the Best

Steve

18 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

19

[ SARACENS DIRECTOR OF RUGBY ]

MARK

McCALL

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Designed and printed on

behalf of Premiership Rugby by

Ignition Sports Media.

www.ignitionsportsmedia.com

It has been

a huge group

effort all season

54

to get us to

this point and

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I am incredibly

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grateful to all our

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players and staff

All the best!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + for all of their

Mark

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + efforts and for

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + making this year

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + so enjoyable

54 55

4 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

9

FREDDIE

STEWARD

35

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

12

CLEAN

BREAKS

43

KICKS FROM

HAND

70

PASSES

MAX

MALINS

64

TACKLES

4

TRY ASSISTS

18

CLEAN

BREAKS

59

KICKS FROM

HAND

73

PASSES

CHRIS

HARRIS

123

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

9

KICKS FROM

HAND

48

PASSES

ANDRE

ESTERHUIZEN

218

TACKLES

6

TRY ASSISTS

16

CLEAN

BREAKS

18

KICKS FROM

HAND

163

PASSES

CADAN

MURLEY

145

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

23

CLEAN

BREAKS

6

KICKS FROM

HAND

32

PASSES

GEORGE

FORD

79

TACKLES

7

TRY ASSISTS

2

CLEAN

BREAKS

244

KICKS FROM

HAND

372

PASSES

DANNY

CARE

104

TACKLES

17

TRY ASSISTS

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

288

KICKS FROM

HAND

1507

PASSES

52 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

53

ELLIS

GENGE

104

TACKLES

125

CARRIES

1

CLEAN

BREAKS

657

METRES PER

CARRY

59

PASSES

51

GEORGE

MCGUIGAN

180

TACKLES

159

CARRIES

7

CLEAN

BREAKS

777

METRES PER

CARRY

68

PASSES

WILL

COLLIER

99

TACKLES

51

CARRIES

1

CLEAN

BREAKS

210

METRES PER

CARRY

13

PASSES

JEAN-LUC

DU PREEZ

158

TACKLES

198

CARRIES

3

CLEAN

BREAKS

972

METRES PER

CARRY

75

PASSES

FREDDIE

CLARKE

268

TACKLES

113

CARRIES

4

CLEAN

BREAKS

570

METRES PER

CARRY

81

PASSES

HANRO

LIEBENBERG

178

TACKLES

131

CARRIES

3

CLEAN

BREAKS

665

METRES PER

CARRY

83

PASSES

BEN

EARL

347

TACKLES

186

CARRIES

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

1355

METRES PER

CARRY

89

PASSES

BRAD

SHIELDS

2022

189

TACKLES

122

CARRIES

5

CLEAN

BREAKS

681

METRES PER

CARRY

64

PASSES

84

3 Welcome From

Premiership

Rugby

7 Welcome From

Gallagher

9 Project Rugby

75,000th

13 The Story Of The

2021-22 Season

18 Steve Borthwick

Leicester Tigers

23 Leicester Tigers:

The Story Of

Leicester Tigers

26 Meet The Squad:

Leicester Tigers

30 Leicester Tigers

Player Feature:

Freddie Steward

35 Leicester Tigers

Road To

The Final

38 Leicester Tigers

Player Feature:

George Ford

44 HITZ Heroes

46 Hall Of Fame

51 Bt Sport

Dream Team

54 Mark Mccall

Saracens

59 Saracens:

The Story Of

Saracens

62 Meet The Squad:

Saracens

66 Saracens Player

Feature:

Maro Itoje

71 Saracens

Road To

The Final

74 Saracens Player

Feature:

Owen Farrell

78 What If It’s A Draw

Today?

79 Peter Deakin

Medal

80 End-Of-Season

Awards

84 Land Rover

Premiership Cup

86 The Road to

Twickenham

88 Premiership Rugby

Cup 2021-22

91 History Of

The Final

94 The Final Records

96 Today’s Teams:

Leicester Tigers

v Saracens

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

5


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

FROM GALLAGHER

No matter the challenges we face, you can count on the

rugby community to rally around their teams.

At Gallagher, we follow something called “The Gallagher

Way.” It says that we support one another because no one

is an island. Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in this stadium

today, we can all appreciate how much stronger we are

when we are part of a community.

Pat Gallagher at the 2018/19 season launch.

Welcome to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby

Final 2022. Hear that?

That is the roar of a Twickenham Stadium once again in

full voice. How good is that?

Today, we have tens of thousands of fans back in the

stadium and millions more watching at home who will get

to see who is crowned this season’s Gallagher Premiership

Rugby champions.

What a remarkable season it has been! Never before have

we seen so many teams separated by so few points as the

battle for semi-finals approached. This season tested all of

us, pushing our players to their limits and each round more

hard-fought than the last.

There’s no question that it is the fans that drives these

teams to deliver this level of play. You are the lifeblood of

rugby, and so it is no surprise that your return to stadiums

up and down the country has coincided with one of the

most hotly contested seasons ever.

Even when you’re at the very top of your game, it’s the

people you trust who will make you better. This is just as

true in life as it is in rugby. Business leaders need a team of

trusted advisers they can turn to for counsel if they want

to perform their best. That’s why this season we launched

the Gallagher Leaders Trust — a mentoring network for the

directors, head coaches, and others tasked with delivering

exceptional performance across the 13 clubs in the

Gallagher Premiership.

We’ve also continued to support the broader communities

around each club and it was fantastic to see the Project

Rugby programme reach its 75,000 participant milestone

this season. Since its launch in 2017, this programme has

brought confidence and a sense of belonging to thousands

of young people who might never have otherwise picked up

a rugby ball. That is something to celebrate and be proud of.

Today though, it’s about who gets to pick up the Gallagher

Premiership Rugby trophy. Here’s to a great day of play on

the pitch and another great Twickenham experience.

Pat Gallagher

Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer - Gallagher

THE GALLAGHER WAY. SINCE 1927.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

7


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

PROGRAMME HITS

MAJOR MILESTONE

AS 75,000TH

PLAYER ENROLS

Project Rugby is one of the jewels in the crown at Premiership

Rugby and our clubs and this season it celebrated an

incredible landmark as the community programme goes from

strength to strength.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

9


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

Project Rugby, which launched in 2017, is run in

collaboration with England Rugby and is supported

by insurance broker and title partner of Premiership

Rugby, Gallagher. It seeks to introduce as many

people as possible to the benefits of rugby across

communities up and down the country. Together,

we aim to do this by providing more opportunities

for people to experience rugby from within groups

who wouldn’t have traditionally picked up a ball.

As our 75,000th player enrolled in

April, it was cause for celebration

to acknowledge the positive

impact our community teams are

making on the local communities

around them by bringing these

people into the game.

Speaking at the 75,000th

celebration Wayne Morris,

Community & Corporate Social

Responsibility Director at

Premiership Rugby, said: “Project

Rugby succeeds because it

stimulates a lifelong interest in

the game, often in people who

have never picked up a rugby ball

before. We strongly believe that a

person’s background should not

be a barrier to them enjoying the

many benefits which come from

playing rugby and our teams work

hard to provide opportunities for

people to participate at a time and

place that can be easily accessed.

We are very proud to celebrate

our 75,000th participant and look

forward to welcoming many more

people to the sport we all love.”

Charlie Scott, Chief Financial

Officer for Gallagher in the UK and

a Project Rugby volunteer, added:

“It’s incredible to see Project Rugby

hit this major milestone of impact

and participation, especially after

all the challenges of the past two

10 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

years. The clubs and community

coaches did an extraordinary job

in extraordinary times of keeping

everyone engaged and enthusiastic

for the return of on-pitch sessions

and festivals. Now we are able to

come together and celebrate all

that is great about this grassroots

rugby initiative.

“For everyone at Gallagher,

hearing the many individual, often

life-changing stories about the

difference the programme delivers

to young people in terms of life

skills, confidence and capabilities,

as well as seeing thousands

transition into community clubs,

makes us hugely proud to be a

part of Project Rugby.”

LARA’S STORY

Lara Corner, a Year 10 pupil at

the Saracens High School, has

experienced for herself the

impact rugby can have after

joining Project Rugby.

IMPROVING

DIVERSITY

In March, Premiership Rugby announced

additional investment from The Asian

Sports Foundation and Sport England into

Project Rugby to improve the diversity of

women and girls playing rugby regularly.

The investment will enable clubs to

specifically target and engage female

players from a range of ethnic backgrounds,

to transition up to 200 new female players

into local rugby clubs by summer 2022.

One such player is 15-year-old Aqsa Zaheer

who has fallen in love with rugby after being

introduced to the sport at a Project Rugby

session held at her school by Wasps Rugby.

“I didn’t play rugby before as no-one has ever

taught us about it. I knew almost nothing

about the game before the session. I’m really

enjoying playing, rugby makes me feel excited

and gives me lots of energy. From rugby, I

have gained more confidence and been able to

work on my teamwork. Project Rugby showed

me that girls like me do play rugby.”

To find out more about Project Rugby

and to find a session near you, visit

www.projectrugby.co.uk

Mike Dobson, Senior Development

Manager at Saracens Foundation

explains: “Lara started playing

as part of the Project Rugby

programme at school and has been

a regular at training.

“She has a huge passion for the

game and has joined Harrow

Rugby Club who are trying to start

up a girls’ rugby team. She has

encouraged other girls to take

part and has been an excellent

role model and leader, helping a

Year 9 girl go on to start playing

at Finchley Rugby Club and make

it through to the next round of

Middlesex Trials. Lara has taken

part in retention sessions held at

StoneX Stadium and went to watch

the men’s Gallagher Premiership

Rugby final at Twickenham last

year where she met one of her role

models, Shauna Brown.”

Lara has felt the changes rugby

has made to her life not just on the

pitch. Those around her talk of how

proud they are of her improved

discipline and decision making off

the pitch since she started playing.

Lara sums up why she now loves

playing saying, ‘When I play rugby

it makes me feel free!’

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

11


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

2021-22 Gallagher Premiership Rugby

The Story Of A

Great Season

The first-ever Premiership Rugby campaign to be spread over 26 rounds

certainly didn’t disappoint with thrills, spills and more than 1,000 tries to keep

us entertained from September to June, writes Paul Eddison.

It was a season of change

in Gallagher Premiership

Rugby’s 2021-22 campaign as

a sleeping giant reawakened,

a heavyweight returned and

the upsets just kept coming.

Steve Borthwick’s Leicester Tigers

revolution saw England’s most

successful club return to the summit

of the game, achieving the unique feat

of leading the table from Round 1 to

Round 26.

They made their intentions clear from

the off, defeating last season’s beaten

finalists Exeter Chiefs in their opening

game, notching a bonus point in the

process.

From there, they went on a run of 12

straight wins to begin the campaign

and had wrapped up a spot in the semifinals

by March.

Midway through the season, Chris

Ashton came in, initially on a short-term

deal, making an immediate impression

as he became Premiership Rugby’s

all-time record try-scorer with a hattrick

against Bristol Bears, breaking the

record of former Tiger Tom Varndell.

It was a remarkable turnaround under

former England skipper Borthwick,

with Leicester having gone four years

without reaching the semi-finals and

suffering successive 11th-placed

finishes during that time.

Captained by Ellis Genge, with George

Ford pulling the strings and rising star

Freddie Steward ruling the skies at fullback,

Tigers established themselves as

the team to beat, with Wasps the team

to finally do so in January after a dream

start to the campaign.

Borthwick and his team got their

revenge on the final day of the season,

beating Wasps and clinching the top

spot at the expense of Saracens.

Mark McCall’s side reminded everyone

of their pedigree on their return to the

league following promotion from the

Championship.

Whether it was experienced

campaigners like Alex Goode

and Billy Vunipola, returning

stars Max Malins and Ben Earl, or

newcomers like Theo McFarland,

they were a force once again.

Malins ended up as the top try-scorer

despite his England commitments, while

Earl was recognised as the Gallagher

Player of the Season as Saracens

secured a home semi-final.

That meant a London derby against the

champions, Harlequins following up last

year’s stunning success with another

impressive campaign.

The only semi-finalists from last season

to crack the top four once again, they

continued in the same vein that they

ended the previous year, proving that

no deficit was too big.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

13


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

Bristol Bears had suffered in that

memorable semi-final and the first

meeting between the sides since must

have felt like deja vu as Quins came

from 21-0 down to record a 52-24 win.

While the likes of Marcus Smith, Andre

Esterhuizen, and Danny Care caught

the eye, despite the latter breaking the

Premiership Rugby record for yellow

cards in a season, Harlequins did not

lack for steel up front under new coach

Tabai Matson.

Completing the top four were

Northampton Saints, thanks to a late

run that even coach Chris Boyd did not

see coming.

For a time, it seemed that European

qualification might be the height of

their ambitions, but 32 points from a

possible 35 in their final seven games

saw them sneak in at the expense of

Gloucester Rugby.

Despite missing out on the top four,

it was still a promising campaign for

the Cherry & Whites, the highlight

no doubt their 64-0 success against

neighbours Bath Rugby, while George

Skivington oversaw the development

of a rolling maul that was the envy of

the league and which should prove a

foundation for further growth.

Where Saints and Gloucester improved,

there was a step back for both Sale

Sharks and Exeter Chiefs, who finished

sixth and seventh respectively.

Alex Sanderson’s side paid for a

slow start to the campaign, leaving

themselves too much to do despite

finishing strongly.

Chiefs, meanwhile, the most consistent

English team of recent times, endured a

down year as they missed the top four

for the first time since 2015. It was their

home form that proved the biggest

disappointment, Sandy Park was not the

fortress it has been in previous years as

they were beaten five times there in the

league.

The battle for the final European spot

went down to the wire, with London

Irish eventually clinching it after a

season in which they drew a remarkable

five matches, their comeback to draw

with Wasps in a game where they

trailed by 25 points in the second half

ending up the crucial result at the

expense of Lee Blackett’s team.

Irish narrowly missed out on silverware,

beaten on tries scored in the final of

the Premiership Rugby Cup as Steve

Diamond oversaw Worcester Warriors’

first major title with a 25-25 draw.

They also finished their season on a

high with a thrilling 43-27 win over Bath

that saw them finish 11th, just ahead of

Newcastle Falcons – in Dean Richards’

final season – and their opponents on

the day.

Both Falcons and Bath will be hoping

for improved campaigns in 2022/23

with Dave Walder stepping up at

Newcastle while Johann van Graan takes

over at the Rec.

14 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY 2021-22

# Team P W L D F A Pts Diff B PTS

1 Leicester Tigers 24 20 0 4 726 452 274 14 94

2 Saracens 24 17 1 6 769 509 260 17 87

3 Harlequins 24 15 0 9 647 554 93 20 80

4 Northampton Saints 24 14 0 10 764 639 125 19 75

5 Gloucester Rugby 24 13 1 10 685 525 160 19 73

6 Sale Sharks 24 12 3 9 559 495 64 14 70

7 Exeter Chiefs 24 13 0 11 584 534 50 17 69

8 London Irish 24 9 5 10 660 666 -6 17 63

9 Wasps 24 11 1 12 614 600 14 14 60

10 Bristol Bears 24 8 0 16 573 718 -145 16 48

11 Worcester Warriors 24 6 1 17 451 814 -363 9 35

12 Newcastle Falcons 24 6 1 17 436 660 -224 8 34

13 Bath Rugby 24 5 1 18 461 763 -302 10 34

TOP TRY SCORERS

# Name Team Apps Mins Tries

1 Max Malins Saracens 13 1004 16

2 George McGuigan Newcastle Falcons 22 1461 15

3 Agustin Creevy London Irish 21 1189 14

Cadan Murley Harlequins 22 1452 14

4 Tommy Freeman Northampton Saints 13 852 12

5 Courtnall Skosan Northampton Saints 16 1198 11

Alex Mitchell Northampton Saints 23 1603 11

6 Will Muir Bath Rugby 19 1377 10

Nemani Nadolo Leicester Tigers 21 1150 10

Ollie Hassell-Collins London Irish 18 1429 10

Louis Lynagh Harlequins 22 1270 10

Tom Woolstencroft Saracens 18 787 10

TOP POINTS SCORERS

# Name Team Apps Mins Try Conv PG DG Points

1 Paddy Jackson London Irish 23 1759 3 35 12 0 200

2 George Ford Leicester Tigers 18 1327 0 20 10 0 198

3 Alex Lozowski Saracens 22 1601 1 14 16 0 178

4 Adam Hastings Gloucester Rugby 21 1422 0 27 12 0 175

5 Jimmy Gopperth Wasps 23 1505 1 23 19 0 172

6 Callum Sheedy Bristol Bears 22 1478 3 34 11 0 170

7 Dan Biggar Northampton Saints 15 1092 1 22 13 0 168

8 Joe Simmonds Exeter Chiefs 23 1466 0 36 4 0 131

9 Owen Farrell Saracens 8 589 0 13 9 0 115

10 Orlando Bailey Bath Rugby 19 1113 0 12 6 0 101

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

15


SARA COX

MAKES

HISTORY

A huge highlight of the Gallagher Premiership

Rugby season came in September when Sara Cox

became the first woman to referee a Premiership

match, in Harlequins’ 35-29 win over Worcester

Warriors.


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

Today is another step

on the journey, a big

step, and the players

have worked tirelessly to

be prepared to deliver

on making everyone at

Leicester Tigers proud

with their performance

18 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

[ LEICESTER TIGERS HEAD COACH ]

STEVE

BORTHWICK

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Today is an exciting day for everybody at Leicester Tigers.

Whether you are a player, coach, staff member, supporter, sponsor –

we have reached this season’s Final on the back of all of your efforts.

We have not been here for a long time and, after recent seasons

where the club was not been taking part in big games like today’s at

Twickenham, I am sure it feels even more special.

The challenge is a big one, an exciting one, against a formidable

team in Saracens. We know that and we are looking forward to it.

The focus for us has not changed from Round 1 of this season’s

Gallagher Premiership Rugby; every single week we have gone out

with the intention of delivering a performance that will make our

supporters, our families and our friends proud.

As a group, we are still very early on in our journey together and

have experienced plenty of highs and lows in a short space of time

alongside one another. But, from all of them, we have grown tighter

and we have learned something to help carry the club forward.

Today is another step on the journey, a big step, and the players

have worked tirelessly to be prepared to deliver on making

everyone at Leicester Tigers proud with their performance.

The bond between the club and our supporters feels stronger every

day and I hope that you, the fans, can see how much your support

means to us.

Since fans were allowed back in the stands, Leicester Tigers

supporters have flooded through the gates at Mattioli Woods

Welford Road and throughout away venues in England and Europe,

which has helped us compete on the pitch with the incredible

support behind us.

The pandemic showed everybody not only how much our game

needs supporters in the stands, but also how privileged we are to

have the competition, the backing and the occasions – like today –

as part of what we do.

Thank you to everybody who got our game through that time and

have made this season such an exciting, entertaining and enjoyable

one for all who are a part of Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

Finally, to everybody at Leicester Tigers, thank you for helping us be

here today.

All the Best

Steve

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

19


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY SEMI-FINAL

LEICESTER TIGERS 27

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 14

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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

LEICESTER

TIGERS

Stuart Farmer casts his eye back on an incredible season for

Steve Borthwick’s Leicester Tigers

220

20

Prolific George Ford is

the Gallagher Premiership

Rugby top points scorer this

season with 220 from 19

appearances

Prop Nephi Leatigaga had made 20

appearances in Premiership Rugby

this campaign, every one of them

from the bench.

GOOD STARTERS

Tigers have conceded only 22 first half tries this

season - the fewest of any club, whilst the 31

they have conceded after the break is a tally only

bettered by Harlequins and Sale.

TALISMAN

Harry Wells has been on the winning team more

than any other player this season, the Tigers

winning 21 of the 24 matches he has played in.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

23


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FREDDIE’S

RUN

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

Freddie Steward has scored a try in each of his

last five Premiership Rugby appearances, just

one game short of Niki Goneva’s Tigers record of

crossing in six successive matches in 2016

TRY-SCORER

Giant wing Nemani Nadolo is Leicester’s top try

scorer in the Premiership this season with ten,

seven of those were run in during the first 22

minutes of matches.

211

Dan Cole is Leicester’s most experienced

Premiership player of all time in terms of

appearances with 211. However, Geordan

Murphy and Martin Corry both have more

playing minutes.

EIGHT IN THE BAG

Leicester Tigers are bidding to win the Premiership

title for the ninth time in their history.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

25


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

MEET THE SQUAD

LEICESTER TIGERS

TOMIWA AGBONGBON | BACK ROW

DOB: 13/12/01

Height: 1.90m

Weight: 100kg

CHRIS ASHTON | WING

DOB: 01/03/87

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 92kg

Honours: England

SAM ASPLAND-ROBINSON | WING

DOB: 03/01/97

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 94kg

FREDDIE BURNS | FLY-HALF

DOB: 13/05/90

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 90kg

Honours: England

OLLIE CHESSUM | BACK ROW

DOB: 06/09/00

Height: 2.00m

Weight: 118kg

Honours: England

CHARLIE CLARE | HOOKER

DAN COLE | PROP

TOM COWAN-DICKIE | HOOKER

NIC DOLLY | HOOKER

GEORGE FORD | FLY-HALF

DOB: 16/12/91

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 110kg

DOB: 09/05/87

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 123kg

Honours: Eng/Lions

DOB: 26/05/91

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 110kg

DOB: 11/06/99

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 103kg

Honours: England

DOB: 16/03/93

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 86kg

Honours: England

26

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

ELLIS GENGE | PROP

CALUM GREEN | LOCK

BRYCE HEGARTY | FULL-BACK

CAMERON HENDERSON | LOCK

JOE HEYES | PROP

DOB: 16/02/95

Height: 1.86m

Weight: 117kg

Honours: England

DOB: 15/07/90

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 119kg

DOB: 28/08/92

Height: 1.84m

Weight: 90kg

DOB: 13/01/00

Height: 2.00m

Weight: 110kg

DOB: 13/04/99

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 126kg

Honours: England

WILL HURD | PROP

DOB: 29/06/99

Height: 1.86m

Weight: 121kg

SEAN JANSEN | BACK ROW

DOB: 10/05/99

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 117kg

DAN KELLY | CENTRE

DOB: 16/01/01

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 96kg

Honours: England

NEPHI LEATIGAGA | PROP

DOB: 09/12/93

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 149kg

Honours: Samoa

HANRO LIEBENBERG | BACK ROW

DOB: 10/10/95

Height: 1.97m

Weight: 110kg

JORDAN OLOWOFELA | WING

GEORGE MARTIN | LOCK

DOB: 18/06/01

Height: 1.98m

Weight: 118kg

Honours: England

JULIÁN MONTOYA | HOOKER

DOB: 29/10/93

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 113kg

Honours: Argentina

MATÍAS MORONI | CENTRE / WING

DOB: 10/07/91

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 92kg

Honours: Argentina

KINI MURIMURIVALU | WING

DOB: 15/05/89

Height: 1.75m

Weight: 83kg

Honours: Fiji

NEMANI NADOLO | WING

DOB: 31/01/88

Height: 1.96m

Weight: 120kg

Honours: Fiji

GUY PORTER | CENTRE / WING

HARRY POTTER | WING

TOMMY REFFELL | FLANKER

DAN RICHARDSON | PROP

DOB: 17/04/98

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 92kg

DOB: 23/01/97

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 96kg

DOB: 15/12/97

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 95kg

DOB: 27/04/99

Height: 1.84m

Weight: 103kg

DOB: 25/03/96

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 119kg

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

27


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

OLLY ROBINSON | BACK ROW

DOB: 21/07/91

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 105kg

HOSEA SAUMAKI | WING

DOB: 10/05/92

Height: 1.90m

Weight: 106kg

Honours: Tonga

MATT SCOTT | CENTRE

DOB: 30/09/90

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 101kg

Honours: Scotland

HARRY SIMMONS | SCRUM-HALF

DOB: 25/11/97

Height: 1.81m

Weight: 90kg

ELI SNYMAN | LOCK

DOB: 25/01/96

Height: 2.01m

Weight: 113kg

JUAN PABLO SOCINO | CENTRE / FLY-HALF

DOB: 30/05/88

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 98kg

Honours: Argentina

FREDDIE STEWARD | FULL- BACK

DOB: 05/12/00

Height: 1.96m

Weight: 101kg

Honours: England

JACO TAUTE | CENTRE

DOB: 21/03/91

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 108kg

Honours: S. Africa

JACK VAN POORTVLIET | SCRUM-HALF

DOB: 15/05/01

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 84kg

MARCO VAN STADEN | BACK ROW

DOB: 25/08/95

Height: 1.84m

Weight: 106kg

Honours: S. Africa

FRANCOIS VAN WYK | PROP

DOB: 30/07/91

Height: 1.89m

Weight: 114kg

HARRY WELLS | LOCK

DOB: 29/09/93

Height: 1.96m

Weight: 110kg

Honours: England

JAMES WHITCOMBE | PROP

DOB: 20/11/00

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 120kg

JASPER WIESE | BACK ROW

DOB: 21/10/95

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 110kg

Honours: S. Africa

RICHARD WIGGLESWORTH | SCRUM-HALF

DOB: 09/06/83

Height: 1.76m

Weight: 78kg

Honours: England

BEN YOUNGS | SCRUM-HALF

TOM YOUNGS | HOOKER

DOB: 05/09/89

Height: 1.79m

Weight: 88kg

Honours: Eng/Lions

DOB: 28/01/87

Height: 1.75m

Weight: 104kg

Honours: Eng/Lions

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

29


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

SENSATIONAL

FREDDIE STEWARD

SET TO MAKE FINAL

BOW AFTER RISE TO TOP

Steward has shown what he can do at Twickenham in

the white shirt of England and now has the chance to

deliver at HQ for Leicester Tigers, writes Josh Graham.

FREDDIE

STEWARD

Age: 21

Born: 5 December 2000

Birthplace: Dereham,

Norfolk

Club: Leicester Tigers

England caps: 10

Freddie Steward’s ascent

to the top of the game

has been so seamless and

fast that it defies logic

that he is still just 21

years old.

The Leicester Tigers full-back has

looked at home on the big stage

ever since he made his Gallagher

Premiership Rugby debut as a

replacement against Sale Sharks in

March 2019.

An England age-group

international, it did not take

long for Steward’s towering

performances at the back to grab

the attention of Eddie Jones.

Steward debuted in July 2021

against the USA and has been an

ever-present in the No.15 jersey

ever since, winning 10 caps. So

much so, he was named the

England Men’s Player of the Year

last month.

His outstanding consistency

for the Tigers has helped Steve

Borthwick’s side top the regular

season table and beat East

Midlands rivals Northampton

Saints in the semi-final to make it

here to Twickenham today.

Steward’s level of performance

is not merely lauded by media

and supporters as he has

been recognised by his fellow

professionals having been voted

the Rugby Players’ Association

Young Player of the Year and

picking up the same award from

his Tigers colleagues.

His physical attributes are obvious,

standing at 6ft 5in and weighing in

at a touch under 16 stone, but his

desire to improve and an attitude

that exudes a thirst for success

is what has impressed Steve

Borthwick most since the two

started working together.

“Freddie has shown enormous

growth in his game and, for a

young man, has a lot of maturity

and plays with a lot of courage,”

said the Tigers head coach.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

31


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

DID YOU

KNOW?

He idolised

Leicester duo Matt

Smith, the club’s

current Tigers

assistant coach, and

Geordan Murphy as

a kid

He listens to 1980s

music before a

game to relax

A product of the

Leicester Tigers

academy, Steward

made his senior

debut against

Northampton Saints

in 2019

Steward’s safe

hands are no

fluke, his grandad

Gabriel Bliss was

a goalkeeper for

Cambridge United

In the Leicester

Tigers band,

Steward plays guitar

with Nic Dolly and

Matt Scott, with

Jack van Poortvliet

on bass while Jasper

Wiese sings and

Dan Kelly plays

drums

“His high-ball work is

exceptional but I think there is

much more to his game. He is

a brilliant last line of defence

and I have never seen him shy

away from anything and he

just wants to get into tackles.

“His attacking game has really

developed and he is becoming

a really dangerous threat. I

have no doubt that Freddie

will continue to work his socks

off every day and I have seen

that from the moment I arrived

here — he is a player you have

to hold back in training.

“A few weeks ago I asked him

to step out of training and I

had to come to a deal with

him to do some of the session.

“Some players get challenged

and don’t move forward to

meet it, but he will continue to

do that and in ten years’ time

he will be the same.”

Steward’s versatility is another

string to his bow and came

into force at Mattioli Woods

Welford Road against Saints

on Saturday.

An early injury to centre Dan

Kelly saw Steward spend large

portions of a frenetic game on

the wing, with Freddie Burns

slotting in from the bench.

And it was in that position

out on the right where he

collected fly-half George

Ford’s rapid cut-out ball and

dived over to score in the 69th

minute, to the delight of the

deafening home fans.

After his try helped propel

Tigers into today’s Final,

Steward revealed he can’t wait

to see a sea of green, white

and red packed into the stands

at the home of rugby.

At the final whistle of the

semi-final win, he said: “It

was a battle. It has been the

theme for us this season, when

games get tough like that – we

fight for each other.

“It was pretty close in the

second half, we went

down to 14 for a spell but the

boys dug in for each other and

that’s all you can do. I’m just so

happy to get over the line.

“I was in the right place at the

right time again, I’ve been a

bit lucky in the last few weeks

to get on the end of a couple.

But you score a try like that

and there’s still a job to do,

so it was straight back to the

halfway line.

“The fans were incredible, it’s

the best I’ve seen Mattioli

Woods Welford Road since

I’ve been at the club, it was

magical. Going over the

whitewash and turning around

to see the fans was spectacular

and I’m so excited to see the

green and red at Twickenham.”

Steward combines his ‘day job’

with studying for an economics

degree at Loughborough

University and recently filed a

3,000-word essay on the

impact of Brexit on the

pound.

Luckily, despite his

new-found fame,

Steward admits he is

not getting pestered in

the library and, with a wise

head on young shoulders,

he knows the importance

of working on the mental

side of the game and the

responsibility that comes with

his position.

While he may be already

preparing for life after

rugby, if Steward can help

Leicester Tigers win their first

Premiership Rugby title since

2013, it will undoubtedly be

his best achievement yet and

enshrine him in the club’s

history.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

33


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

LEICESTER

TIGERS’

ROUTE TO THE 2021-22

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP

RUGBY FINAL

After nine years away, Tigers are ready to roar at Twickenham again, writes Alec McQuarrie.

Not since 2013 have Leicester Tigers

reached a Gallagher Premiership Rugby

Final at Twickenham.

It was a record ninth final in successive

seasons and a 37-17 victory over

Northampton Saints clinched a 10th

league title.

Few who celebrated that day could have

imagined a nine-year wait for another

crack at glory. It has been a long road back

for the East Midlands giants, who suffered

four consecutive semi-final exits and then

four campaigns in which they failed to

qualify for the last four.

It’s fitting then, that a derby win against

the Saints last Saturday has sent Tigers

back to Twickenham after a storming

22-point performance from George Ford

in the semi-final.

It has been a record-breaking comeback

campaign for the Tigers who were

scrapping at the wrong end of the table as

recently as 2020.

Head coach Steve Borthwick must take

a lot of the credit for the dramatic

turnaround, building on sixth spot in his

first full season in 2020-21 to become

league leaders in his second.

At the start of this campaign, the

consensus was there was plenty of room

f

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

35


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

TOGETHER

WE ROAR!

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36 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

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for improvement on a 50% record in 2020-

21 – 11 wins and 11 losses.

Tigers’ marked inconsistency last year

was exemplified by the fact their longest

winning run in the league was just two.

But with supporters welcomed back en

masse to Mattioli Woods Welford Road for

the first time in 18 months, unreliability

quickly became a distant memory for the

10-time champions.

Tigers kicked off the campaign with a

bonus-point 34-19 home win over Exeter

Chiefs, full-back Freddie Steward, fresh

from his first England cap, getting the ball

rolling with an early try.

The result meant Leicester finished Round

One top of the table, a position they

would never relinquish.

A trip to Gloucester Rugby brought

another bonus-point win with newlyappointed

skipper Ellis Genge crossing for

his first score of the season in a to-and-fro

contest under the lights at Kingsholm.

It was a challenging battle and a staunch

Tigers defence held firm in a nervy final 10

minutes.

But a sterner test was to follow at the

start of October, when they hosted today’s

opponents Saracens in a rain-soaked

match that ended with fireworks.

Mark McCall’s team opened up a 12-3 lead

courtesy of four Owen Farrell penalties,

but Ford’s 75th minute penalty set up a

pulsating finale.

With the clock on zero, referee Christophe

Ridley awarded a penalty try when a maul

edging towards the whitewash collapsed,

sparking jubilant scenes inside Mattioli

Woods Welford Road.

Leicester won their next four to complete

an unbeaten October, including a seven-try

visit to a sold-out Saints when the bonus

point was wrapped up before the break.

In fact, Borthwick’s side would close

out the calendar year with a staggering

14 games won without defeat in all

competitions.

However, the Tigers’ 100% record lived

a charmed life on Boxing Day when they

travelled to Ashton Gate.

Bristol narrowly led 26-23 with seven

minutes remaining after Jasper Wiese was

yellow-carded while attempting to charge

down Callum Sheedy’s kick, the latter

taking advantage of the resulting penalty.

One last scrum was awarded to the visitors

in added time and, after a patient buildup,

replacement Guy Porter finally seized

the chance to run in on the right to snatch

the points.

The Tigers machine rolled on in the

opening match of 2022, posting 31 points

without reply at home to Newcastle

Falcons.

But their remarkable 15-game winning

run in all competitions came to an end the

following week, old rivals Wasps denying

them with a 16-13 shock victory.

Their loss total would be doubled before

the end of January with another away

defeat, this time Sale Sharks putting on

a stunning second-half display to turn a

13-point deficit into a 35-26 win.

The back-to-back defeats represented

the lowest ebb of the league season for

Borthwick’s team, with that Sale visit the

only game they’d emerge from without

any points.

February saw a return to full form, with

successive wins over Worcester Warriors,

Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby and

Gloucester Rugby.

The final seven matches of the regular

season began with a losing bonus point

away to Saracens, cutting Leicester’s lead

at the top.

But successive league wins at home to

London Irish and at Exeter Chiefs came

before a fourth and final defeat of the

league programme at the hands of

defending champions Harlequins.

Three comfortable triumphs rounded

off the season with Leicester already

confirmed of a semi-final berth before

Round 24.

And the East Midlands derby semi-final

did not disappoint with the game finely

poised and the score level at half-time.

Second-half tries from Ford and Steward

punished Saints’ wastefulness and sent

Tigers back to Twickenham. Today, they

hope to complete a dream campaign.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

37


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

GEORGE FORD

MEANS BUSINESS AS HE

TARGETS THE PERFECT FINAL

SWANSONG FOR TIGERS

A replacement used off the bench the last time

Leicester Tigers won the final, George Ford will be

the main man for Steve Borthwick’s men at Rugby

HQ, writes Alec McQuarrie.

If the 2021-22 Gallagher

Premiership Rugby

season is to be the year of

the Tigers, no one player

will have been more

instrumental to their

success than George Ford.

Against Northampton Saints in the

semi-final last Saturday, Ford lined

up as one of three survivors from

the Leicester side who defeated

their East Midlands rivals to seal

their last title nine years ago.

That day he replaced injured

captain Toby Flood in the first half

and kicked four penalties to ensure

breathing space was maintained in

a 37-17 victory.

Starting the day on the bench in

2013, it is unthinkable that will be

the case today. Ford’s 22-point

man-of-the-match performance

last weekend was instrumental

in sealing the Tigers’ place at the

home of rugby and epitomized his

performance level all year.

His head coach Steve Borthwick

said it was evidence Ford “is a

world-class player” and that “he

has been outstanding all season.”

It was November 2013 when Ford,

freshly signed by Bath Rugby,

last won a Gallagher Player of the

Month award.

He waited almost eight years for

his next, deservedly scooping the

October 2021 edition for playing a

central role in the Tigers’ best start

to a Premiership season.

Tigers’ autumn resurgence was

astounding, and a 55-26 derby

win away from home on the

day before Halloween was a

fine example of the playmaker’s

frightening form.

Four conversions and three

penalties capped with a fine 40-

yard drop goal took his overall

points tally to 107 – a full 45 more

than the nearest competitor.

The playmaker duly finished the

season as the league’s highest

scorer with 220 points (and

counting), securing him the

Gilbert Golden Boot award as

a result.

GEORGE

FORD

Club: Leicester Tigers

International caps: 84

2021-22 Gallagher

Premiership tries: 2

38 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

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/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

39


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

DID YOU

KNOW?

Ford played rugby

league from the age

of five, switching to

union at 11.

His father Mike

was a rugby league

legend, playing for

clubs like Wigan,

Castleford and

Oldham.

He was the first

Englishman to win

the World Rugby

Junior Player of the

Year.

But it has been his consistency

that has impressed the most,

mirroring his team’s winning

regularity.

Seven games and seven

wins on from that seven-try

deconstruction of Saints and

another Player of the Month

was on its way to Ford’s

mantelpiece.

Such were his performances

that, by the turn of the

year, and with Borthwick’s

steamroller showing little sign

of stopping, Eddie Jones could

no longer ignore the 29-yearold.

A recall to the England squad

for the Six Nations was the

least Ford deserved, given his

exceptional club form.

The outside-half now has 84

senior international caps since

his debut against Wales in the

Six Nations as a 20-year-old.

But his first taste of club rugby

for Tigers came in November

2009, breaking the record as

the youngest to make their

professional rugby debut in

England.

His older brother Joe was also

making his debut at fly-half

and put in a man-of-thematch

performance, scoring

13 points.

But George, son of former

England defence coach

and Tigers assistant Mike,

grew in stature as the years

progressed, both in terms of

size and reputation.

His potential was recognized

when he won the World Rugby

Junior Player of the Year in

2011 and, a year later, he had

his hands on silverware in the

form of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

By the time he joined Bath in

the summer of 2013, he was

already regarded as having

a mature head on relatively

young shoulders.

His former Bath teammate

Dave Attwood commented

at the time: “If you looked

at him in the street you’d

ID him for a packet of fags,

but to hear him speak in

a meeting and command

everyone on the field, you’d

think he was a 35-year-old

veteran.”

Only Harlequins’

Nick Evans reached

1,500 Premiership

points in fewer

games.

He has four Six

Nations titles for

England and started

in the 2019 World

Cup final.

chance to win their first title

for 19 years.

His opposite number that day

was Owen Farrell, and the two

have been vying for supremacy

all their careers, whether for

the England No.10 jersey or

the title at Twickenham today.

Their lives have been

intertwined ever since they

were sent to the same

state comprehensive in

Hertfordshire, one which

also saw Maro Itoje and Jack

Singleton pass through its

doors.

Andy Farrell joined Saracens

as a player to join Mike Ford

who was the club’s coach and

so their sons became close

schoolmates, practising rugby

together whenever they could

find the time.

“All we wanted to do was

go outside and kick a ball

around,” said Ford.

“Owen used to come

home and be like,

‘C’mon mate, we

need to go outside

and have a mess

around, do a bit of my

homework for me’.

“I’d be, ‘All right.’ And I’d start

doing a bit of his French or

whatever it was. That way we

could go out on the front and

kick a ball around.”

Ford grabbed the headlines

after the match, in which

Leicester went down 28-17 to

Leeds Carnegie, but on that

occasion it wasn’t George.

His next taste of a Twickenham

final came at the end of his

second campaign with Bath

but, despite Ford’s best efforts,

Saracens denied them a

But Ford will certainly not be

doing any favours for Farrell

today as he looks to bookend

his second spell at Tigers with

the perfect swansong.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

41


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GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

It was another stand out year for our

award-winning HITZ programme as

young people across the country were

helped by a community programme

that enriches and changes lives

throughout the year

The red carpet once again was

rolled out for the HITZ Awards

2021, with all our inspirational

finalists being celebrated at

The Twickenham Stoop at what

was an emotional event

The journeys and achievements

of nine young shortlisted stars

and three role models where

recognised at the Awards hosted

by former England and London

Irish Winger Topsy Ojo. Together

with our partners SCL Education

Group, CVC Foundation and

Wooden Spoon, we celebrated

their inspirational progress and

outstanding work on the HITZ

programme.

Minister for Employment, Mims

Davies, praised their success:

“Congratulations to all the

winners on their very welldeserved

awards. Their courage

will inspire others to overcome

life’s obstacles with great

confidence which can often only

be gained through sport and

work.

“HITZ is doing a wonderful job

promoting this vital connection

within communities right across

the country, and is a huge credit

to all of us who love the game.

Premiership Rugby clubs

deserve huge praise for tackling

difficult issues and providing

the important support to those

who need it, and for having

the determination to make a

difference.”

HITZ is our education and

employability programme,

supporting young people to

make positive life choices and

to progress back into education,

employment, apprenticeships

or training. HITZ works with

more than 2,000 14-23-yearolds

across England every year

and is delivered nationally

by Premiership Rugby’s 13

shareholder clubs. Since its

inception in 2008, HITZ has

supported nearly 20,000

young people towards a

brighter future.

HITZ uses rugby’s core values of

teamwork, respect, enjoyment,

discipline and sportsmanship

to help young people develop

essential personal, employability

and life skills. A strong focus

on understanding young

people whilst nurturing

and encouraging learning,

underpinned with physical

activity, is what makes the

programme so unique. It is

this approach that consistently

delivers results year after year.

44 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

The Stats

84% of

participants have

improved their

functional Maths

and English

since HITZ

started in 2008

80% of

participants

report an

improvement in

personal, social

and physical

well-being

More than 75%

of participants

go on to achieve

a positive

progression

into further

education,

training or

employment

Scan the QR code

to watch the

video...

Meet Our HITZ Award Winners 2021

Dawda Darboe of Bristol Bears - Physical

Activity Award Winner

Rewarding progress and development in sport

and physical activity

Until Dawda (second left) joined HITZ, he was

not in education and was a shy individual who

was struggling with loneliness and poor mental

health, but after taking part in the programme,

he developed the necessary skills to secure

employment and improve his outlook. Darboe

is now playing rugby for Avonmouth RFC 1st

XV while working in full-time employment for

Molson Group as an IT apprentice. Wayne Morris,

Premiership Rugby’s Corporate Responsibility

Director, comments, “Dawda is now engaged fully

in the rugby network, he’s playing regular rugby

and is part of a team, a club and the rugby family,

and it’s improved every aspect of his life including

his mental wellbeing.’

Graham Binns of Bath Rugby - Champion

Award Winner

Recognising special individuals who go above and

beyond the call of duty

Universally popular with those who are a part

of the scheme, Binns (left) was inspired to get

involved after losing contact with his children.

Now retired, he supports participants with their

reading and writing in addition to working

through their emotional needs. His ‘Not Giving

Up’ session received a standing ovation after

he shared his life challenges. Jane Howard, CVC

Marketing and CSR Manager said “It was the

longevity that he’s been volunteering with HITZ

for that won him the award. For years he’s been

helping young people get into work, supporting

them through educational activities and

mentoring them.”

Callum Pope of Exeter Chiefs - Young

Achiever Award Winner

Rewarding the overcoming of challenges

Having previously battled with severe social

anxiety before joining the Chiefs’ HITZ

programme in 2019, Pope’s (right) stellar work

throughout the programme and his subsequent

apprenticeship working on HITZ saw him claim

the award. Callum says ‘HITZ was a second

chance for me. It helped me to take responsibility

to turn my life around.’

Leah Cromwell of Gloucester Rugby -

Academic Achievement Award Winner

Recognising significant academic progress

Having previously obtained no qualifications

due to her mental health struggles, HITZ allowed

Leah (second right) to improve her confidence,

leave an unhealthy relationship and obtain

qualifications. She is now studying Health and

Social Care at her local college while undergoing

a placement at a nursery and hopes to work as

a support worker when she finishes her studies.

Leah on the impact of the programme on her life,

“HITZ has been brilliant. It’s given me a path in

life that I thought I’d lost. It gave me a reason to

get out of bed every day, to keep positive and

take control of my life. The staff really got me.

They spoke to me like an equal, it was so different

from school. I couldn’t have got to where I am

now without them.”

To find out more and how to enrol

on HITZ, visit: hitzrugby.com

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

45


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

PREMIERSHIP

RUGBY HALL

OF FAME

Three more legends have been inducted into the

Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame ahead of this year’s Final at

Twickenham, writes Tom Masters.

Will Greenwood, Trevor Woodman and

Tom Varndell make up the class of 2021-

22, with their names forever etched into

Premiership Rugby folklore.

Between them, the three inductees have

won four Premiership Rugby titles, made

over 350 appearances, and scored well

over 100 tries.

And the newest members are in elite

company, joining some of the league’s

finest ever players, with previous inductees

including Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence

Dallaglio, Martin Johnson and Steve

Thompson.

Greenwood has been recognised for the

part he played in Leicester Tigers winning

back-to-back Premiership Rugby titles

between 1998 and 2000.

The former England and British and Irish

Lions centre scored 34 Premiership Rugby

tries over an illustrious career with Tigers

and Harlequins, with whom he also lifted

the European Challenge Cup in 2001.

Fellow Tiger Tom Varndell is also a twotime

Premiership Rugby winner, lifting

titles at Twickenham in the 2006-07 and

2008-09 seasons.

Until recently, he was Premiership Rugby’s

all-time top try scorer with 92 tries,

breaking Mark Cueto’s record in 2016 for

Bristol Bears, before Chris Ashton’s recent

flurry saw him go top.

A World Cup winner with Greenwood,

Trevor Woodman made 93 appearances

with Gloucester Rugby and Sale Sharks in a

glittering career.

The prop lifted the 2003 Powergen Cup

after defeating Northampton Saints in the

final, before going on to seal his starting

place in the England side that lifted the

William Webb Ellis trophy.

As has become an annual custom before

the silverware showpiece, Twickenham

Stadium will welcome the newest

inductees to the illustrious Premiership

Rugby Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was first launched back

in 2013 at a prestigious dinner at London’s

Hurlingham Club. It initially included the

leagues’ Players of the Season from the

start in 1997-98 and the organisation’s

Director of Rugby of the Season.

PREVIOUS

INDUCTEES

2020-21

Andy Goode

Steve Thompson

Christian Day

Paul Grayson

2018-19

Matt Dawson

Nick Evans

Jason Leonard

2017

Steve Borthwick

Kyran Bracken

Nick Easter

Ben Kay

Jason Robinson

2016

Neil Back

Mark Cueto

Richard Hill

Mike Tindall

Hugh Vyvyan

2015

Lawrence Dallaglio

Josh Lewsey

Simon Shaw

James Simpson-Daniel

Phil Vickery

Peter Wheeler

Jonny Wilkinson

2014

Rob Baxter

George Chuter

Martin Johnson

Lewis Moody

Ed Morrison

Tom Walkinshaw

2013

Mike Catt

Martin Corry

Warren Gatland

Austin Healey

Charlie Hodgson

Kenny Logan

Jim Mallinder

Conor O’Shea

Dean Richards

Andy Robinson

John Wells

46 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

[ HALL OF FAME ]

WILL GREENWOOD

A centre with a nose for the

try line, Will Greenwood is

one of Premiership Rugby’s

greatest ever players.

Following in the footsteps of father

Dick, who represented England in

the back row, he began his rugby

career at Harlequins following

the end of his studies at the

University of Durham.

When professionalism came in

1995, however, his whole career

changed, and in 1996 he made the

move to Leicester Tigers.

In his first season as a Tiger,

Greenwood helped them to

Pilkington Cup glory and he was

rewarded for his hot form with

selection for the 1997 British

and Irish Lions tour to South

Africa, despite being uncapped at

international level.

Following the Lions tour, the

1997-98 season proved to be a

breakthrough season for the centre,

who made his England debut

against Australia in November at

Twickenham. The following season

he won his first Premiership Rugby

title with Tigers, before repeating

the trick in the 1999-00 campaign.

In 2000, Greenwood made the

move back to London to re-join

Harlequins after a stellar four

years at Tigers. In the famous four

quarters, he sealed success in the

Tetley’s Bitter Cup and was crucial

in the club’s first European success,

as they defeated Narbonne to

lift the European Challenge Cup

in 2001.

He went on his second tour with

The British and Irish Lions in

Australia that summer and starred

for England in the 2003 Rugby

World Cup, scoring tries against

Georgia, South Africa and Uruguay

in the group stages, while his

try against Wales in the Suncorp

Stadium at the quarter-final stage

turned the game in England’s

favour.

He then started in both the semifinal

and the final as England won

the Rugby World Cup for the first

time.

WILL

GREENWOOD

FACTFILE

DOB: 20.10.1972

Position: Centre

Premiership Clubs:

Harlequins, Leicester

Tigers

Premiership Rugby

appearances: 96

Premiership Rugby tries: 34

Upon his return to Harlequins,

Greenwood helped his side to

Heineken Cup qualification in the

2003-04 season but the following

year was a disaster for Quins, as

they suffered relegation to the

Championship.

Despite this, Greenwood was

selected to go on his third British

and Irish Lions tour, where he

played in two Test matches.

His final season in professional

rugby was spent helping Harlequins

back into the Premiership and the

mission accomplished, he retired at

the end of the 2005/06 season.

In total, the legendary centre played

in 96 Premiership Rugby matches,

scored 34 tries and retired as

one of the competition’s greatest

players.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

47


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

[ HALL OF FAME ]

TREVOR WOODMAN

Whether it was in the cherry

and white of Gloucester

Rugby, the dark blue of Sale

Sharks or the pristine white

of England, Trevor Woodman

was Mr. Dependable.

Steady and consistent, the

loosehead prop was the

cornerstone of some of the best

packs seen in this country –

including England’s successful 2003

World Cup-winning squad.

Like his fellow inductee Greenwood,

Woodman arrived on the scene in

the mid-1990s and stayed for the

next decade.

The Cornishman spent much of his

career in the south west, starting

out at Bath Rugby before joining

rivals Gloucester in 1996.

Injuries unfortunately played their

part in Woodman’s career but when

he played, he made a difference,

especially at Kingsholm.

Woodman was at the heart

of Gloucester’s revival at the

beginning of the 21st century. He

helped the Cherry & Whites to

their best season in years in 1999-

2000, finishing third in the table,

while he spearheaded their Zurich

Championship play-off run two

years later.

England head coach Clive

Woodward was suitably impressed

and handed Woodman his first Test

start in a memorable 31-28 win

against New Zealand in autumn

2002, a result that gave the squad

belief that they could win the World

Cup.

TREVOR

WOODMAN

FACTFILE

DOB: 04.08.1976

Position: Prop

Premiership Clubs: Bath

Rugby, Gloucester Rugby,

Sale Sharks

Premiership Rugby

appearances: 93

Premiership Rugby tries: 8

Woodman went from strength to

strength, helping Gloucester to

the top of the Premiership table

in 2002-2003 before they suffered

a narrow semi-final defeat to the

sensational Wasps team of the early

2000s at Twickenham.

However, a few months later, his life

changed forever.

In a squad packed with quality

props, including Jason Leonard and

Julian White, Woodman started four

matches at the 2003 World Cup,

including the semi-final win against

France and final success against

Australia, as England became world

champions for the first time.

Back in the Premiership, Gloucester

continued to knock on the door,

finishing fourth in the 2003-04

season, in what proved to be

Woodman’s penultimate campaign

at the club.

By this stage, injuries had started

to slow him down and in 2005 he

moved north to join a Sale Sharks

team on the rise.

However, a long-term back injury

restricted Woodman to just three

appearances for his new team and

he was forced to retire after just one

season in Manchester aged 29.

In all, Woodman made 93

Premiership Rugby appearances

and scored eight tries, and rightly

takes his place the prestigious

Premiership Rugby Hall of Fame.

48 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

[ HALL OF FAME ]

TOM VARNDELL

A natural predator,

Tom Varndell began his

Premiership Rugby career

with Leicester Tigers in

2004 and to say he made

an immediate impact is an

understatement.

In just his second game for the

Tigers, Varndell scored the fastest

hat-trick in Premiership Rugby

history, with three tries coming

in 13 minutes against Worcester

Warriors.

That early form saw him earn a first

call-up into the England set-up,

making his debut as a replacement

and scoring in England’s 40-3 win

over Samoa at Twickenham in

November 2005.

Varndell finished the season as the

top Premiership try scorer with

14, but suffered heartbreak at the

end of the season as Tigers fell

to a 45-20 defeat to Sale Sharks

in the Premiership Rugby Final at

Twickenham.

The winger got his hands on

silverware in the following season,

as he played a key role in England’s

Commonwealth Games silver medal

in sevens, before finishing off the

season in style as Leicester won the

Premiership Rugby Final with a 44-

16 win against Gloucester.

A key cog in Leicester’s 2007-

08 campaign, Varndell finished

comfortably as Premiership Rugby’s

top try scorer again with 14, his

electric pace and brilliant finishing

skills continuing to serve him and

Tigers well in a golden era for the

club, where Twickenham finals were

almost expected, even if they didn’t

win them.

In 2009, Tigers lost to Wasps in

the Final but the following season

bounced back, with Varndell on the

bench for the 10-9 success against

London Irish – in what proved to be

his last game for the club.

Varndell moved to Wasps at the

beginning of the 2009-10 campaign

and watched on as the Tigers again

ruled the land with a successful title

defence.

In all, he spent six seasons at Wasps

and, while he didn’t add to his trophy

cabinet, he continued to score tries

aplenty. By the time he moved to

Bristol Bears in 2015, he had moved

up to third in the all-time Premiership

Rugby try-scorers list.

Breaking Mark Cueto’s record

seemed inevitable and Varndell

moved level with the former

England man on 90 tries on New

Year’s Day 2017, ironically against

Cueto’s old team Sale Sharks,

before breaking it a month later

against Harlequins.

He finished his career in 2018 with

92 Premiership Rugby scores,

which stood as a record until

Chris Ashton broke it this season.

He enters the Premiership

Rugby Hall of Fame as one of the

most lethal finishers in the

competition’s history.

TOM

VARNDELL

FACTFILE

DOB: 16.09.1985

Position: Wing

Premiership clubs: Leicester

Tigers, Wasps, Bristol

Bears

Premiership Rugby

appearances: 180

Premiership Rugby tries: 92

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

49


TRIPLE MALTED FOR DEPTH

BRITISH HOPS FOR REFRESHMENT

TRIPLE MALTED FOR OUTSTANDING DEPTH OF FLAVOUR,

EVERY DROP OF LONDON PRIDE IS BREWED AT THE

GRIFFIN BREWERY RIGHT HERE ON THE THAMES IN

CHISWICK, USING 100% BRITISH INGREDIENTS.

T O A C H I E V E A N A L E T H I S C O N S I S T E N T LY B A L A N C E D TA K E S

SKILL, DEDICATION AND TIME, BUT THEN THE THINGS

T H AT B R I N G U S P R I D E A LWAY S D O .


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

DREAM TEAM

DELIVERS A

A SIDE WITH

INCREDIBLE

PLAYERS ACROSS

THE BOARD

It is the hardest selection of the season. But the commentary team

at BT Sport have the job of finding best Gallagher Premiership

Rugby player in every position as Josh Graham finds out.

AFTER A sensational

Gallagher Premiership

Rugby season, the BT Sport

Dream Team has been

selected with representatives from

seven clubs.

Two of the league’s top four, Leicester

Tigers and Harlequins, have four players

apiece while Saracens and Gloucester

Rugby provide two of the 2021-22

season stars, with the final three coming

from Sale Sharks, Wasps and Newcastle

Falcons respectively.

Tigers have had a phenomenal season

under Steve Borthwick with captain

Ellis Genge at the front of things and

deserving of his spot in the side at

loosehead prop.

He is joined in the pack by clubmate

Hanro Liebenberg who packs down

at No.6 after an industrious campaign

while George Ford is in at fly-half after

rediscovering his prime playmaking

form.

Freddie Steward slots in at full-back

after carrying the momentum from

his England debut last summer into a

superb domestic campaign.

Evergreen Danny Care is at scrum-half

for last year’s champions Harlequins

and he is joined in the backline by

winger Cadan Murley who has shown

his eye for the tryline this season.

The Rugby Players’ Association’s

players’ player of the year Andre

Esterhuizen has been the standout 12

in the league while up front, Will Collier

has been a rock for Quins at tighthead.

Saracens hit the ground running on

their return to England’s top tier with

Max Malins excelling on the wing,

notably scoring four tries against Wasps

in October.

His close friend and teammate Ben Earl

also chipped in with valuable scores

and turnovers while being incredibly

effective on both sides of the ball on

the pitch.

Buoyed by touring South Africa with

the British & Irish Lions last summer,

Scotland centre Chris Harris continued

to produce stellar performances in the

No.13 jersey for Gloucester to bag his

spot in the side.

Harris’ clubmate and second row

Freddie Clarke has also had a fantastic

campaign in the engine room,

one particular highlight coming at

Twickenham against Harlequins when

the 29-year-old showed a fantastic turn

of pace to dot down for a terrific try.

Newcastle Falcons’ try machine George

McGuigan has had a terrific year at

hooker with his performances earning

a first England call-up to Eddie Jones’

latest training squad.

Brad Shields’ tireless work rate earns the

Wasps back row the No.8 jersey while

Sale Sharks’ towering lock Jean-Luc

du Preez joins him in the pack after

another campaign of displays littered

with brutal physicality.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

51


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

FREDDIE

STEWARD

MAX

MALINS

CHRIS

HARRIS

ANDRE

ESTERHUIZEN

CADAN

MURLEY

GEORGE

FORD

DANNY

CARE

35

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

12

CLEAN

BREAKS

43

KICKS FROM

HAND

70

PASSES

64

TACKLES

4

TRY ASSISTS

18

CLEAN

BREAKS

59

KICKS FROM

HAND

73

PASSES

123

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

9

KICKS FROM

HAND

48

PASSES

218

TACKLES

6

TRY ASSISTS

16

CLEAN

BREAKS

18

KICKS FROM

HAND

163

PASSES

145

TACKLES

1

TRY ASSISTS

23

CLEAN

BREAKS

6

KICKS FROM

HAND

32

PASSES

79

TACKLES

7

TRY ASSISTS

2

CLEAN

BREAKS

244

KICKS FROM

HAND

372

PASSES

104

TACKLES

17

TRY ASSISTS

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

288

KICKS FROM

HAND

1507

PASSES

52 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

ELLIS

GENGE

GEORGE

MCGUIGAN

WILL

COLLIER

JEAN-LUC

DU PREEZ

FREDDIE

CLARKE

HANRO

LIEBENBERG

BEN

EARL

BRAD

SHIELDS

2022

104

TACKLES

125

CARRIES

1

CLEAN

BREAKS

657

METRES PER

CARRY

59

PASSES

180

TACKLES

159

CARRIES

7

CLEAN

BREAKS

777

METRES PER

CARRY

68

PASSES

99

TACKLES

51

CARRIES

1

CLEAN

BREAKS

210

METRES PER

CARRY

13

PASSES

158

TACKLES

198

CARRIES

3

CLEAN

BREAKS

972

METRES PER

CARRY

75

PASSES

268

TACKLES

113

CARRIES

4

CLEAN

BREAKS

570

METRES PER

CARRY

81

PASSES

178

TACKLES

131

CARRIES

3

CLEAN

BREAKS

665

METRES PER

CARRY

83

PASSES

347

TACKLES

186

CARRIES

11

CLEAN

BREAKS

1355

METRES PER

CARRY

89

PASSES

189

TACKLES

122

CARRIES

5

CLEAN

BREAKS

681

METRES PER

CARRY

64

PASSES

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

53


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

[ SARACENS DIRECTOR OF RUGBY ]

MARK

McCALL

It’s massively exciting for everyone at the club to be back at

Twickenham today for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final.

Looking back over the season there have been a number of

highlights, not least The Showdown 2 at Tottenham Hotspur

Stadium which was a huge event for the whole club and it was

a very proud moment to see us run out at such an iconic venue.

It has been a huge group effort all season to get us to this

point and I am incredibly grateful to all our players and staff for

all of their efforts and for making this year so enjoyable.

We face a Leicester Tigers team today who have had a superb

season, and huge credit must go to Steve Borthwick and his

coaching team. Steve was a great captain for our club and it is

no surprise that he is having such a huge impact as a coach.

We are also bidding farewell to a number of players this

afternoon and I would like to thank them for everything they

have done for the club.

Tim Swinson, Richard Barrington, Vincent Koch, Elliott

Obatoyinbo, Sean Reffell, Janco Venter, Tom Mills and Charlie

Watson have all been fantastic for us and we wish them and

their families well for the future.

The support that we have received this season from our fans

has been remarkable and we cannot thank them enough. There

is something special building at StoneX Stadium and we hope

to give our supporters another reason to cheer today as we

head towards the break in the summer.

We have had a very enjoyable week and can’t wait to get out

there today for this fantastic occasion.

All the best!

Mark

54

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

It has been

a huge group

effort all season

to get us to

this point and

I am incredibly

grateful to all our

players and staff

for all of their

efforts and for

making this year

so enjoyable

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

55


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY SEMI-FINAL

SARACENS 34

HARLEQUINS 17

SATURDAY 11 JUNE | STONEX STADIUM


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

Saracens are at Twickenham for the first time since 2019.

Stuart Farmer charts their progress in statistics

1680

The Gallagher Premiership

Rugby Player of the Season

Ben Earl has had more game

time than any other Saracens

this year, 1680 minutes.

MAX

POWER

Quicksilver wing Max

Malins is the Gallagher

Premiership Rugby

top try scorer this

season with 16 from 14

appearances. Eleven of

those tries were run in

during the 2nd half of

matches.

LUCKY CHARM

Richard Barrington is Saracens good luck charm

– Sarries have not been beaten in any of the 13

matches he has taken part in.

ONE

CLUB

MAN

Alex Goode has appeared in 234

Premiership matches for Saracens,

only two other “one club” men

have made more appearances

for their only club in the history

of the tournament – 238 by

Northampton’s Alex Waller and

237 by Wasps Simon Shaw.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

59


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

OFF THE BENCH

Over a fifth of all Saracens tries this season have

been scored by replacements – the highest

percentage in Premiership Rugby.

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

POINTS

MACHINE

Owen Farrell needs just 15 more points to

become only the third player to rack up 1500

points for the only club they played for in

Premiership Rugby, after Nick Evans (1656 for

Harlequins) and Gareth Steenson (1651 for

Exeter).

LOOKING

FOR SIX

Saracens have played in

seven previous Premiership

finals and won five of them.

The only two defeats were

to Leicester in 2010 and

Northampton in 2014.

MAKING

HIS MARK

Saracens have won almost three-quarters of the

matches that Mark McCall has been in charge -

the best winning percentage of any head coach

in Premiership history.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

61


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

MEET THE SQUAD

SARACENS

RALPH ADAMS-HALE | PROP

DOB: 31/03/97

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 120kg

RICHARD BARRINGTON | PROP

ANDY CHRISTIE | BACK ROW

ALEC CLAREY | PROP

ELLIOT DALY | CENTRE

ALED DAVIES | SCRUM HALF

DOB: 24/09/89

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 120kg

DOB: 08/02/94

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 120kg

DOB: 08/02/94

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 120kg

DOB: 08/10/92

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 83kg

Honours: England

DOB: 19/07/92

Height: 1.78m

Weight: 88kg

Honours: Wales

62

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

RUBEN DE HAAS | SCRUM HALF

BEN EARL | BACK ROW

OWEN FARRELL | FLY HALF

JAMIE GEORGE | HOOKER

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

ALEX GOODE | FULL BACK

DOB: 09/10/98

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 85kg

Honours: USA

DOB: 07/01/98

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 101.82kg

Honours: England

DOB: 24/09/91

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 94.09kg

Honours: England

DOB: 20/10/90

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 108.18kg

Honours: England

DOB: 05/05/88

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 90kg

Honours: England

ALEX LEWINGTON | WING

ETHAN LEWIS | HOOKER

ALEX LOZOWSKI | CENTRE

SEAN MAITLAND | WING

MAX MALINS | WINGER

BEN HARRIS | WINGER

CALLUM HUNTER-HILL | LOCK

NICK ISIEKWE | LOCK

MARO ITOJE | LOCK / BACK ROW

VINCENT KOCH | PROP

DOB: 08/09/99

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 100kg

DOB: 27/02/97

Height: 1.98m

Weight: 105.91kg

DOB: 20/04/98

Height: 2.01m

Weight: 120kg

Honours: England

DOB: 28/10/94

Height: 1.98m

Weight: 110kg

Honours: England

DOB: 13/03/90

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 125kg

Honours: S. Africa

DOB: 20/09/91

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 95.91kg

DOB: 28/03/94

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 110.91kg

DOB: 30/06/93

Height: 1.85m

Weight: 94.09kg

Honours: England

DOB: 14/09/88

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 96.82kg

Honours: Scotland

DOB: 07/01/97

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 84.09kg

Honours: England

ERONI MAWI | PROP

DOB: 02/06/96

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 130.91kg

Honours: Fiji

THEO MCFARLAND | LOCK

DOB: 16/10/95

Height: 1.96m

Weight: 113.64kg

Honours: Samoa

DOM MORRIS | CENTRE

DOB: 29/07/97

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 91.36kg

ELLIOTT OBATOYINBO | FULL BACK

DOB: 09/10/98

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 83.18kg

KAPELI PIFELETI | HOOKER

DOB: 01/09/99

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 111.36kg

Honours: USA

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

63


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

MANU VUNIPOLA | FLY HALF

SAM WAINWRIGHT | PROP

NICK TOMPKINS | CENTRE

IVAN VAN ZYL | SCRUM HALF

JANCO VENTER | BACK ROW

BILLY VUNIPOLA | BACK ROW

MAKO VUNIPOLA | PROP

SEAN REFFELL | BACK ROW

MARCO RICCIONI | PROP

ROTIMI SEGUN | WING

TIM SWINSON | LOCK

DUNCAN TAYLOR | CENTRE

DOB: 04/11/98

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 94.09kg

DOB: 19/10/97

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 123.18kg

Honours: Italy

DOB: 28/12/96

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 91.82kg

DOB: 17/02/87

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 110.91kg

Honours: Scotland

DOB: 05/09/89

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 100kg

Honours: Scotland

DOB: 16/02/95

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 95kg

Honours: Wales

DOB: 30/06/95

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 81.82kg

Honours: S. Africa

DOB: 19/09/94

Height: 1.93m

Weight: 100kg

Honours: Namibia

DOB: 03/11/92

Height: 1.91m

Weight: 128.18kg

Honours: England

DOB: 14/01/91

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 120.91kg

Honours: England

DOB: 04/05/2000

Height: 1.8m

Weight: 91.82kg

DOB: 07/05/98

Height: 1.88m

Weight: 120.91kg

TOM WOOLSTENCROFT | HOOKER

DOB: 18/09/94

Height: 1.83m

Weight: 104.09kg

JACKSON WRAY | BACK ROW

DOB: 10/11/90

Height: 1.91m 3’)

Weight: 108.18kg

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

65


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

66

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + +

LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

THE RISE AND RISE

OF SUPERHUMAN

SARACENS LOCK

MARO ITOJE

There are few players in the world who can match Maro

Itoje on his day as he looks to add another trophy to his

remarkable collection, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

MARO

ITOJE

Club: Saracens

International caps: 56

2021-22 Gallagher

Premiership tries: 2

A talismanic figure for

both club and country

over the last six years,

one club man Maro Itoje

has become one of the

best locks in world rugby.

The 27-year-old has once again

this season showed what an

important cog he is in the

Saracens machine as they look to

regain the Gallagher Premiership

Rugby title last won in 2019.

Itoje has spent his entire senior

club career at StoneX Stadium,

after graduating from the club

academy back in 2012.

In the decade since then, there is

very little he hasn’t achieved in

the game and he will enter the

Twickenham field today as one of

the most decorated players on the

pitch.

It took an Anglo-Welsh cup tie

against Cardiff Blues for ‘The Pearl’

to make his debut in a Saracens

jersey in 2013, still aged only 19.

Physicality was always a major

feature of the England star’s

game, which combined with his

natural agility, make him a difficult

opponent for any side in the

game.

As a schoolboy he didn’t purely

focus on rugby, also trying his

hand at basketball, football and

athletics – Itoje even represented

his country at under-17 level in the

shot put.

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby

bow followed later in 2013-14

against Leicester Tigers and it

wasn’t long before he was a firm

favourite in the eyes of Saracens’

fans, as well as catching the eye of

the national selectors.

2014 was something of a

breakthrough year, with Itoje cocaptaining

the successful England

team at the IRB Junior World

Championship, with a first England

Saxons call-up coming a year later.

At domestic level, his first

Gallagher Premiership Rugby

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

67


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

DID YOU

KNOW?

The England star

writes poetry in his

free time and has tried

his hand at modelling

too, previously

appearing on the

cover of high-society

magazine Tatler.

Itoje is the cousin

of Bath’s loosehead

prop Beno Obano

and contributed to

his 2020 Amazon

Original documentary

Everybody’s Game.

He is represented by

the Roc Nation agency

owned by rapper

Jay-Z.

Away from the

pitch, Itoje relaxes

by listening to

podcasts and

audiobooks, watching

documentaries,

chilling with friends

and family, and

checking out African

art.

His dream dinner

party guests would

be Muhammed Ali,

Barack and Michelle

Obama, Kwame

Nkrumah, Oprah, and

Chimamanda Adichie.

title arrived with Itoje playing

in a 28-16 win over Bath at

Twickenham.

Again he featured in the

following season’s silverware

showpiece, which saw his club

retain their third title after a

28-20 win over Exeter Chiefs.

Itoje was also now becoming a

central figure at national level,

making his England debut

against Italy during the 2016

Six Nations.

He then played a starring role

in a flawless series win over

Australia that summer, and

has never been far from Eddie

Jones’ plans in the years that

have followed.

Although in his younger

days Itoje may not have

been considered captain

material, he has developed to

be one of the real locker room

leaders for both Saracens and

his country.

Even England head coach

Eddie Jones said last

December: “I’ve never seen

a guy mature as much as he

has in the last six months so

it’s been a really good period

for him.

“I’ve got no doubt in the

future he will captain England.

Whether that’s in my time or

someone else’s time.”

Few in the world compare

with the pearl around the

breakdown or in the air. His

ability in the lineout has

been a staple of Saracens

performances for much of the

last decade.

Although he was born and

raised in the local area of

Camden, the importance

of his loyalty to the North

London club should not be

underestimated.

Outside of the domestic

game and England, Itoje has

twice toured with the British

& Irish Lions.

Outstanding in the 2017

drawn series with New

Zealand, he managed to raise

his game even further four

years later when the Lions

headed for South Africa.

Despite losing a closely fought

series 2-1, Itoje’s contributions

were recognised as he was

voted the tourists’ Player of

the Series.

10 months ago, when Saracens

returned to the top flight

after a one-year absence at

the start of this season you

could be forgiven for thinking

normal expectations would be

lowered.

But throughout this season

Itoje’s focus has never wavered.

When interviewed back in

March the Saracens star said

he had total confidence the

squad could deliver more

silverware this season.

“Without a doubt it’s a realistic

goal to win the Premiership

this season,” he said. “I think

given the quality that we have,

the experience that we have,

and the playing staff that’s

definitely our goal this season.

“We are bubbling along

reasonably well and going a

little bit under the radar. This

part of the year we really want

to kick on and push things

forward.

“I don’t see any reason why

that shouldn’t be our goal, but

we know how difficult it will

be. There are a lot of quality

sides in this league so we will

have to keep improving our

game on a weekly basis, but

I’m confident in the ability of

this squad.”

Having just brought up a

century of league appearances

for Saracens and with many

years at the top level still

ahead of him, you wouldn’t bet

against him making another

100. Whatever happens in

the final, Itoje has once again

shown this season he is one

of the standout players, not

only in the league, but on the

planet.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

69


Bringing people closer to the

work they want and employers

closer to the talent they need.

1

Alec Clarey

position: Prop

wanna be: rail banksman

2 Tom Woolstencroft

3 Ralph Adams Hale

position: Hooker

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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

SARACENS’

ROUTE TO THE 2021-22

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP

RUGBY FINAL

In their first season back, five-time champions Saracens

look as strong as ever, writes Ben Hart.

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After a year in the Championship,

Saracens are back at the home of

Rugby.

On their last appearance at Twickenham,

the Men in Black beat the winners of the

regular league season to be crowned

Kings of England. They’ll be hoping to

repeat that feat this year.

Ben Earl has already secured Saracens’

tag as Lords of London. The Gallagher

Premiership Rugby Player of the Season

scored a hat-trick in a typically ruthless

display in their semi-final win over

Harlequins.

A feisty London derby ended with Mark

McCall’s side emerging 34-17 winners,

despite playing with 14 – and at times 13 –

men in a tense second period.

Even comeback specialists Quins could

not overcome the Saracens defensive

juggernaut, which has looked more

coordinated and commanding than ever

this term.

The season began with an equally physical

display as Saracens announced their

intentions for domestic domination. Last

year’s beaten semi-finalists Bristol Bears

were the first to be put to the sword,

courtesy of seven Alex Lozowski penalties.

The versatile back, like Earl, was one of

several returning loanees, having spent the

2020/21 season on loan at Montpellier.

That year of top-flight rugby proved

invaluable as Lozowski shone in

the absence of regular fly-half

Owen Farrell.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

71


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

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The England captain returned for a trip

to Leicester Tigers in Round Two, where

the concession of an ultimately costly late

penalty try reminded Saracens of the fine

margins which exist at the top level.

On the same day as the wet and windy

Midlands defeat, the club announced

that a takeover had been agreed with a

consortium including World Cup-winning

captain Francois Pienaar.

But while change loomed behind the

scenes, Sarries were their old selves on

the field, running up high scores and

suffocating their opponents in defence.

After defeat in Leicester, they produced

a six-game unbeaten run, with a

disappointing draw at home to London

Irish the only blemish on an otherwise

impressive early-season card.

The second game in that run saw them

produce a simply stunning 10-try

demolition of Bath Rugby, as the boys in

blue leaked more points than ever before

in a Premiership Rugby fixture, going

down 71-17.

Max Malins finished as the league’s top

try-scorer, and three of his 16 scores came

in that autumn try fest at The Rec.

He bettered that performance the

following week, with a four-try display in

a 56-15 battering of Wasps at the StoneX

Stadium.

Sarries were well on their way to finishing

as the league’s top point scorers.

The next assignment was a trip to reigning

champions Harlequins and, having trailed

19-9 at half-time, McCall’s side produced

a brilliant second-half fightback to win

29-22 and condemn their London rivals to

their first home defeat of 2021.

Saracens were on the wrong end of a

comeback the following week as Irish

rallied to draw 34-34 but returned to

winning ways after the international break

with a hard-fought 25-14 win over Sale,

which took them back to second in the

table.

But ill discipline cost them on their next

outing, with Exeter Chiefs the beneficiaries

on a day which saw Saracens marched

back on three occasions in an 18-15

reverse.

Then as wins over Worcester Warriors

and Northampton Saints brought some

Christmas cheer, the January blues quickly

followed – a home defeat to Gloucester

Rugby and chastening loss at Wasps

threatened to derail their semi-final hopes.

But when they did lose, McCall’s side

made sure it was close, with five of their

six defeats earning a losing bonus point.

A win against Bath restored some

confidence before the double was secured

over Harlequins with another narrow

victory. Hooker Tom Woolstencroft scored

three tries in those back-to-back home

encounters, with the Sarries set piece

showing its match-winning credentials.

He registered again as Saracens visited

the Brentford Community Stadium for the

first time, but a last-gasp Paddy Jackson

penalty gave Irish the points.

As a result, Sarries dropped to third for

the first time since the beginning of the

season, ahead of the visit of leagueleaders

Leicester Tigers.

But they silenced their doubters with a

five-star and a five-try performance, Alex

Lewington finishing a stunning team move

to register the crucial score in a 34-27 win.

A potential banana skin was then

overcome with a 36-21 win over Newcastle

Falcons before Farrell returned from injury

just in time for ‘The Showdown’ against

Bristol Bears at the Tottenham Hotspur

Stadium.

Wins followed over Sale Sharks, Exeter

Chiefs and then Worcester Warriors, with

Malins once again bagging four, before a

home semi-final was secured with a 42-38

win over Northampton.

Theo McFarland capped a wonderful

first season at the StoneX with two

tries, the second of which showed off

his international basketball skills, with a

stunning acrobatic finish.

An entirely changed XV suffered defeat

in the final game of the regular season, a

heavy 54-7 loss to Gloucester Rugby. But

Farrell and co then returned for the semifinals

as Sarries swept past Quins, leaving

the returning giants just 80 minutes away

from regaining their throne.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

73


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

FEARSOME

OWEN FARRELL

TO GRACE THE GALLAGHER

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL

ONCE AGAIN

Despite a season filled with injury setbacks, the fly-half is back

at the pinnacle of domestic rugby, writes Jonny Bray.

No matter the result

in today’s Gallagher

Premiership Rugby Final,

you cannot help but

respect Saracens and

England star Owen Farrell

for his tenacity and neversay-die

attitude.

The 94-cap England back was

absent for 15 rounds of Gallagher

Premiership Rugby action between

October and March due to two

ankle injuries but, come 3pm

today, nothing will keep him from

the Twickenham turf.

The 30-year-old’s season is

bookended by matches against

Leicester Tigers. In October, he

started in the 13-12 defeat as the

Men in Black continued to adapt

back to the rigours of top-flight

rugby.

But in typical fashion, Farrell and

Saracens bounced back by winning

their next three games in style.

Farrell was on fire, kicking at least

15 points in all three matches, but

his season took a dramatic turn for

the worse in England colours.

First, he limped off during their

win over Australia in November

2021 with an ankle injury, missing

nine weeks of the campaign before

injuring the other ankle on the eve

of his return.

That ruled him out of the Six

Nations but he returned to the

Saracens starting line-up for the

27-23 win over Bristol Bears in

Round 21 and steadily built up his

form and fitness in the final weeks

of the season.

Last Saturday, he was at the heart

of Saracens’ semi-final victory,

kicking three conversions and a

penalty, as a Ben Earl-inspired

home side beat Harlequins 34-17

at StoneX Stadium.

The English rugby icon ended the

campaign with nine Gallagher

Premiership Rugby starts, kicking

124 points. Leicester will be

wary that any penalty

OWEN

FARRELL

Born: 24 September

1991

Club: Saracens

International caps: 94 for

England

2021-2022 Gallagher

Premiership Rugby

points: 124

74

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

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/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

75


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

conceded in their half will

likely result in three Saracens

points.

Now that he is back to his

best, there is no telling how

big an impact Farrell can have

on the Gallagher Premiership

Rugby Final. But if the big

games of years gone by can

teach us anything, it is that

Farrell always rises to the big

occasion.

Farrell’s first final came 11

years ago, again versus today’s

opponents. He was just 19 but

the fly-half was electric, nailing

all five of his penalty attempts

and also a conversion as

Saracens claimed a tight 22-18

victory.

Farrell and Saracens were back

in the final three years on and,

despite coming up just short

against Northampton Saints,

they returned to the silverware

showpiece a year later.

Saracens’ brilliant fly-half was

at the centre of it all, excelling

all season before being named

Player of the Match against

Bath Rugby, scoring a try and

kicking 13 points at Rugby

HQ. Saracens went on to win

that final 28–16.

All the while, the rising star

was beginning to make a

splash on the international

stage, impressing on and off

the pitch on the British & Irish

Lions tour of Australia in 2013.

He had already established

himself as one of England’s

best players, making his debut

in February 2012 against

Scotland and earning 36 caps

by the end of 2015.

That May brought another

final. And another Farrell

masterclass. He kicked 13

points as Saracens beat Exeter

Chiefs 28-10 and he capped

the campaign with the Fans’

Player of the Season award

after Saracens also added the

European Rugby Champions

Cup trophy.

2017 saw Farrell become

Saracens’ all-time leading

scorer, overtaking Glen

Jackson, before

helping his side

to a second

successive European

Champions Cup, scoring

two conversions and three

penalties in the final against

ASM Clermont Auvergne.

DID YOU

KNOW?

In 2005, Owen

Farrell had a trial at

Manchester United

as a goalkeeper.

Owen Farrell

studied Business

at Hertfordshire

University.

Owen Farrell’s uncle

Sean O’Loughlin

(below) is a rugby

league legend,

winning 34 caps

for Great Britain

between 1993 and

2009.

The 2017/18 season brought

Farrell his fourth Premiership

Rugby title in a 27-10 victory

over Exeter, and in 2018/19,

he repeated the achievement

for a fifth time. That same

campaign, he led Saracens to

an unbelievable third European

Champions Cup.

Simultaneously, Farrell was

playing his best rugby on the

international stage.

He was a crucial part of all

three England sides that won

the Six Nations in 2016, 2017

and 2020 and changed the

Lions’ series against New

Zealand in 2017, slotting in

perfectly at 12 and excelling

outside of Ireland legend

Jonathan Sexton to help the

side earn a remarkable draw.

Now, this living legend of the

modern game is on the verge

of winning his sixth Gallagher

Premiership Rugby title.

And teammate Alex Goode

believes the leader knows

exactly how to push his

teammates to be the best they

can be.

“He just wants the best from

everyone. He wants us to be

playing better and training

better,” he told the Telegraph.

“That’s revered with guys like

Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and

Tom Brady. You need guys like

that in weeks like this to make

sure standards are being set.

“You need to know people are

going to do their job, and if he

shouts at people, they know it

is because he wants to win.”

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

77


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

WHAT

IF IT’S A

DRAW

TODAY?

Two of the last six Premiership Rugby

titles have been won in extra-time.

What will happen today if the scores are

tied after 80 minutes?

EXTRA TIME

In the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final 2022, if

after 40 minutes of play each way the scores are

level, there shall be a five-minute break (where the

teams and players shall remain on the pitch) and

then a period of extra time shall begin between

the teams of ten minutes each way, with a oneminute

interval.

If the scores remain equal after this period of

extra time then the winner will be the team which

has scored the most tries in the game (including

extra time).

If the scores are level and the number of tries

scored is equal, then there shall be a place kick

competition.

PLACE KICKING

COMPETITION

A coin toss will determine at which end

the competition will be at and another coin

toss will determine which team goes first

or second.

Each team nominates three kickers who will

attempt to slot the ball through the posts

from six designated positions on the 10 and

22-metre lines.

Each kicker will take two kicks apiece in the

following order:

KICKER 1

from each team will take a kick from in front

of the posts on the 22m line.

KICKER 2

from each team will take a kick 15m in from

the right touch line on the 22m line.

KICKER 3

from each team will take a kick 15m in from

the left touch line on the 22m line.

KICKER 1

from each team will take a kick from in front

of the posts on the 10m line.

KICKER 2

from each team will take a kick 15m in from

the right touch line on the 10m line.

KICKER 3

from each team will take a kick 15m in

from the left touch line on the 10m

line.

If the scores are tied after the six

kicks for each team, it will go

to “sudden death” from the

middle of the 10-metre line.

The three kickers

must have been

playing at the final

whistle of extra time.

78 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

THE

PETER

DEAKIN

MEDAL

Awarded to the Player of the Match at the

Premiership Final, to honour the memory of

Peter Deakin, one of the professional game’s

great marketeers.

2018 | MAKO VUNIPOLA

2019 | MARO ITOJE

Born in Oldham, Deakin was

influenced by the approach to

sports marketing he found in

America and on his return to the

UK transformed the Bradford

Northern rugby league club

into the Bradford Bulls, trebling

attendances at Odsal and laying

the foundations for the club’s

success.

At the onset of professionalism

in rugby union, Saracens owner

Nigel Wray brought Deakin south

to work his magic on the London

club, investing much of his energy

in providing supporters with much

more than just 80 minutes of rugby.

The club’s recent matches at

Wembley provide echoes of

Deakin’s influence over a decade

later. Rugby league was his

first love and Warrington

tempted him back north,

but Peter crossed the divide

again when he returned

to union with Sale Sharks,

before a second stint

at Saracens. Sadly,

Peter died of a

brain tumour on 1

February 2003 at

the age of 49.

The last four finals

have seen Saracens

prop Maro Vunipola

(2018), Maro Itoje

(2019), Henry Slade

(2020) and 12

months ago Joe

Marler of Harlequins

awarded the Peter Deakin Medal as

the Gallagher Premiership Rugby

Final’s Player of the Match. Today

we will see who follows in their

footsteps as we once again look to

honour Peter Deakin’s legacy.

2020 | HENRY SLADE

2021

JOE

MARLER

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

79


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

The HAC in London was the perfect backdrop for the 2021-22

Premiership Rugby awards, presented by Gallagher.

Josh Graham brushed shoulders with rugby glitterati to see

who picked up the gongs.

80 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

...AND THE

WINNER IS...

Gallagher

Player of the Season

BEN EARL

(Saracens)

After the conclusion of an

enthralling 2021-22 Gallagher

Premiership Rugby regular season,

the league’s standout performers

were recognised at the Premiership

Rugby Awards, presented by

Gallagher, in London.

The most prestigious award went

to Saracens flanker Ben Earl, who

followed in the footsteps of Exeter

Chiefs No.8 Sam Simmonds by being

crowned Gallagher Player of the

Season.

Earl enjoyed a stellar campaign in

the back row for Mark McCall’s men,

who finished the regular campaign in

second place in the standings on their

return from the Championship.

Earl, who spent last season on loan at

Bristol Bears, pipped Harlequins duo

Danny Care and André Esterhuizen to

the award as well as Leicester Tigers

duo George Ford and Julián Montoya.

Saracens head coach Joe Shaw said:

“We’re enormously proud of Ben and

how he has developed through our

system. His impact coming back this

season has been huge.

“He has become an increasingly

important player in our squad. He is

a leader, a phenomenal talent and we

can’t wait to see him keep growing

over the coming years.”

Leicester Tigers topped the table at

the end of the regular season, losing

just four games and going unbeaten

at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

And after masterminding 20 wins,

as well as a run to the Heineken

Champions Cup quarter-finals,

Steve Borthwick was named

London Pride Director of Rugby of

the Season.

Under Borthwick’s watch, Leicester

started the season in phenomenal

form and won 16 successive first-team

fixtures - marking the club’s best

winning run for 25 years.

Borthwick won the award ahead

of outgoing Northampton Saints

director of rugby Chris Boyd,

Gloucester Rugby’s George

Skivington, Saracens’ Mark McCall and

Harlequins’ Tabai Matson.

“Individual awards are very rarely

that,” he said. “They’re usually

representative of team effort. I’m very

privileged to work with a fantastic

group of players and a fantastic

support team.”

Every season talented

young rugby stars announce

themselves on the big stage and this

year’s Land Rover Discovery of the

Season went to London Irish’s Henry

Arundell.

London Pride

Director of Rugby of the Season

STEVE BORTHWICK

(Leicester Tigers)

Land Rover

Discovery of the Season

HENRY ARUNDELL

(London Irish)

Premiership Rugby

Top Try-Scorer of the Season

MAX MALINS

(Saracens)

Gilbert Golden Boot

GEORGE FORD

(Leicester Tigers)

The Famous Grouse

Try of the Season

LOUIS REES-

ZAMMIT

(Gloucester Rugby

v Newcastle Falcons)

Gallagher Community

Player of the Season

JUSTIN CLEGG

(Worcester Warriors)

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

81


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LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

The lightning quick full-back caught

the eye with some scintillating lengthof-the-field

and chip and chase scores

and was rewarded by receiving his

first senior England call-up.

“Henry has had a good breakthrough

season with us, and this award is

recognition for his efforts,” said Declan

Kidney, director of rugby at London

Irish.

“He has worked hard in training and

applied himself well in matches.

We look forward to seeing his

development continue with London

Irish. Our congratulations go to Henry

and his family, who have supported

him tremendously to get him to this

point.”

Arundell’s fellow nominees were

Leicester Tigers’ Ollie Chessum and

Tommy Reffell, Northampton Saints’

Tommy Freeman and Harlequins’

Hugh Tizard, who will join Saracens

for next season.

The Premiership Rugby Awards also

recognise off-the-field work and

Worcester Warriors’ Justin Clegg was

the recipient of this year’s Gallagher

Community Player of the Season.

Clegg has supported young and old

in the Worcester community, joining

in with the Warriors Community

Foundation’s Inclusive Rugby sessions

on Monday mornings whenever

training allows, as well as being a

familiar face at the Dementia Café on

Wednesdays.

Clegg has also been keen to inspire

his teammates to get involved,

spearheading the men’s and women’s

teams donations to the local food

bank and Ukraine humanitarian

efforts.

The 25-year-old also supported the

Big Worcester Sleepout and the

club’s Homeless Rugby Team with his

presence seen by players as a sign of

respect.

Clegg is a worthy winner of the award

but plenty of great work has been

carried out across the clubs with

Wasps’ Malakai Fekitoa, Sale Sharks’

Simon Hammersley, Bristol Bears’

Joe Joyce, Gloucester Rugby’s Lewis

Ludlow and Saracens’ Sean Maitland

all nominated in this category.

He said: “I just want to continue

helping the club’s community

foundation grow and develop in any

way they can. For me personally, I

want to get more and more players

involved.

“Hopefully something like this means

they will recognise that we’re doing

some really good work – so hopefully

they’ll start to come along with me

too. It’s really special to win this

award.”

Elsewhere, Leicester Tigers fly-half

George Ford took home the Gilbert

Golden Boot award after kicking the

most points in the season as his side

finished top of the regular season

table.

Ford kicked 38 conversions and as

many penalties while also slotting

one drop goal to take his points tally

to 193, eight ahead of London Irish’s

Paddy Jackson with Gloucester Rugby’s

Adam Hastings totalling 175 points in

third place.

This season’s Premiership Rugby Top

Try-Scorer was Saracens’ Max Malins

with 16, finishing one ahead Newcastle

Falcons hooker George McGuigan, while

London Irish’s No.2 Agustin Creevy

and Harlequins winger Cadan Murley

finished joint third with 14 tries apiece.

And while there were a mountain of

scintillating scores to pick from, this

year’s The Famous Grouse Try of the

Season, as voted for by supporters,

went to Gloucester Rugby winger Louis

Rees-Zammit for his effort against

Newcastle Falcons in Round 14.

Rees-Zammit fielded the ball just

outside the 22 at Kingston Park before

darting through a gap and sidestepping

several would-be tacklers

before using his pace to sprint home

into the corner, capping a jaw-dropping

solo move.

The most prolific try-scorer of them all

was also recognised at the Premiership

Rugby Awards as Leicester Tigers

winger Chris Ashton’s record-breaking

feat was celebrated.

Ashton became Premiership Rugby’s

all-time top try-scorer with a first-half

hat-trick against Bristol Bears to take

his career tally to 95 - eclipsing Tom

Varndell’s 92-try haul.

He said: “Records are there to be

broken, so some players are now aiming

at me for it, but hopefully, I can add a

couple more to it yet.”

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

83


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

The 2021-22 season

saw the Land Rover

Premiership Rugby

Cup continue to lay the

groundwork for the next

generation of players.

The annual series of Under-11 and

Under-12 rugby festivals saw each

of the 13 Gallagher Premiership

Rugby clubs take it in turns to put

on their own event throughout the

season, extending the invitation to

local clubs to try their hand.

This successful series of nationwide events

has seen more than 100,000 children

take part since the first event took place

at Franklin’s Gardens in November 2008.

And the competition continues to grow,

providing developmental experience for

young players to excel in a professionally

run environment.

For Rugby World Cup winner Jason

Robinson (above, right), there is no

question that the Land Rover Premiership

Rugby Cup is vital for the grassroots of

the game and introducing young players

to top-level rugby.

84 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

Rugby teaches

so much and

participating with

other teams will

allow these children

to learn and take

skills that they can

use both on and off

the field.”

He said: “It is wonderful to see all the

kids who have excelled in the Land Rover

Premiership Rugby Cup and seeing

them get the chance to play again. This

is so important for grassroots rugby

and providing opportunities for these

youngsters at an early age.

Rugby teaches so much and participating

with other teams will allow these children

to learn and take skills that they can use

both on and off the field.”

As well as the opportunity to experience

a professionally-run environment, there

were also places to attend the Gallagher

Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham

available for the winners of the Under-

12s and Under-11s events with the

victors in the latter category decided by

nominations based on their sportsmanship

and dedication to rugby’s core values.

As well as providing youngsters with

the chance to compete for a place at

Twickenham, these events also allowed

them to meet some of the players from

their respective Premiership Rugby Club,

an aspect that Robinson believes is crucial

to their passion for the sport.

He added: “It’s amazing at tournaments

like this for the kids to be able to meet

some of their heroes. When you get the

opportunity to see these players who you

look up to and get to chat to them on a

human level, that is the inspiration to go

on and try to emulate them.”

The Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup is

a testament to Land Rover’s commitment

to supporting rugby at all levels, from

grassroots to elite. Follow the latest

Land Rover rugby activity on Twitter

@LandRoverRugby

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

85


This season we have completed our inaugural cycle challenge,

The Road to Twickenham. We are proud to be supporting the

children’s charity of rugby, Wooden Spoon. The outstanding work

of Wooden Spoon funds up to 70 life-changing projects across the

UK and Ireland supporting vulnerable children every year.

In the build-up to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final, our core team of

ex-professional rugby players joined with hundreds of day riders from across the

country, put their bodies and minds to the test and took on the enormous challenge

of cycling the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Trophy 750 miles from Newcastle to

Twickenham in just seven days.

Today, please support our team as they celebrate completing the last leg of their

journey – delivering the trophy to Twickenham Stadium this morning, ready for

Leicester Tigers v Saracens to kick off today.

THE GALLAGHER WAY. SINCE 1927.

Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland.

Company Number: SC108909. FP1160-2021 Exp 06.09.2022 | ARTUK-3134


To support the core riders, text

WOODENSPOON to 70085

with your donation amount

Or scan the QR code

to go straight to the

Just Giving page


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

[ PREMIERSHIP RUGBY CUP 2021-22 ]

WARRIORS LIFT

TROPHY IN

A DRAMATIC

FINISH

The Premiership Rugby Cup continued to keep its vital place in the rugby

calendar this year, delivering a heart-stopping final writes Josh Graham.

Worcester Warriors

claimed their first

major silverware in

dramatic fashion

as they were crowned 2021-

2022 Premiership Rugby Cup

champions at the expense of

London Irish.

In a game that went to extra-time,

Kyle Hatherell’s last-gasp try in

normal time ended up being the

match-winning score as the Warriors

took the victory on tries scored

following a 25-25 draw.

Matt Kvesic, Perry Humphreys and

Hatherell crossed for the Warriors,

the latter with the clock well into the

red at the end of normal time.

Fin Smith converted to force extratime,

with Irish needing another

score in Brentford having crossed

the whitewash just once themselves

through Ben White.

Paddy Jackson kicked 20 points,

but then faltered in extra-time

missing his last four shots at goal

as the Warriors celebrated a famous

victory.

For Steve Diamond, it capped off a

dream campaign, having arrived at

Sixways as a lead rugby consultant

before being appointed director of

rugby from next season.

The dramatic finale brought

the curtain down on a thrilling

tournament, with several young

stars announcing themselves on the

big stage.

Round 1 provided plenty of points

with Gloucester Rugby getting

their campaign off to a flyer after

beating local West Country rivals

Bath Rugby 71-10 as No.8 Ben

Morgan crossed for a hat-trick.

London Irish held off a second-half

fightback from Northampton Saints

to win 36-26 while there were

narrow derby wins for Saracens

at home to Harlequins and Bristol

Bears away at Exeter Chiefs with

Leicester Tigers and Newcastle

Falcons also making fast starts.

Gloucester made it two wins from

two in Round 2 with a convincing

45-19 triumph over the Chiefs while

Harlequins got their first win on the

board with a thrilling 26-25 victory

over Saints.

Crucially, Irish - who had led 21-0

at the break - just about managed

88 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

WARRIORS [25]

Tries: Kvesic 12, Humphreys 40,

Hatherell 80

Conversions: Smith 13, 80

Penalties: Smith 5, 19

Jamie Shillcock, Perry Humphreys

(Alex Hearle 62), Francois Venter (Ollie

Lawrence 52), Ashley Beck, Duhan van

der Merwe, Fin Smith, Gareth Simpson

(Will Chudley 66), Ethan Waller (Rory

Sutherland 45, Christian Judge 92),

Niall Annett (Isaac Miller 65), Christian

Judge (Murray McCallum 45), Joe

Batley, Graham Kitchener (Andrew

Kitchener 62), Kyle Hatherell, Matt

Kvesic (Sam Lewis 64), Ted Hill

IRISH [25]

Tries: White 32

Conversions: Jackson 33

Penalties: Jackson 3, 28, 38, 47, 56, 65

Henry Arundell (Ben Loader 72), Lucio

Cinti, Will Joseph (Curtis Rona 54),

Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Ollie

Hassell-Collins, Paddy Jackson, Ben

White (Caolan Englefield 80), Facundo

Gigena (Will Goodrick-Clarke 47),

Mike Willemse (Matt Cornish 25),

Marcel van der Merwe (Ciaran Parker

48), Chunya Munga (Steve Mafi 51),

Rob Simmons (Chunya Munga 80),

Matt Rogerson (Ben Donnell 64), Juan

Martin Gonzalez, Albert Tuisue

to repel a substantial Saracens

comeback to win 29-20 at Brentford

Community Stadium.

Warriors showed their intent by

running in ten tries in a 68-13 win

over Bristol Bears and a superb

second-half display from Leicester

Tigers earned them a 55-7 victory

away at Midlands rivals Wasps,

Hosea Saumaki scoring a hat-trick.

Sale Sharks edged out Newcastle

Falcons before Round 3 saw the two

Pool A protagonists battle it out,

with Worcester maximising home

advantage to narrowly get past

Gloucester 27-21 at Sixways in the

last action of 2021.

Round 4 kicked off in March with

London Irish confirming their place

in the semi-finals with an impressive

34-19 win over Harlequins.

However, Newcastle Falcons’ bonuspoint

comeback 36-28 win over

Leicester Tigers was the pick of the

games, with the hosts leapfrogging

the Tigers to sit top of Pool 2 by one

point going into their final game

against Northampton Saints.

Exeter Chiefs’ narrow 31-29 victory

against Worcester blew the race to

top Pool A wide open but Warriors

still jumped over Gloucester ahead

of the final round after going home

with two bonus points.

Bristol Bears comfortably beat

Bath 61-19 to keep their semifinal

aspirations alive while Saints

ensured they were still in the hunt

for the best runners-up spot behind

the Exiles with an impressive 46-35

away win at Saracens.

With three spots in the semi-finals

up for grabs, it was all to play for in

Round 5 and Gloucester certainly did

not disappoint with a thrilling 43-15

win away at the Bears sneaking them

into the top spot of Pool A over

Worcester on points difference.

However, the Warriors also

progressed into the last four as the

best runners-up, with 16 points,

after holding their nerve at the Rec,

winning 13-7 after battling back

from being 7-0 down at the break.

Leicester Tigers upset London Irish

41-26 at Mattioli Woods Welford

Road to claim the last remaining

place and top Pool 2 ahead of

Newcastle Falcons, whose 34-26

defeat away to Northampton

curtailed their hopes of progressing.

The semi-finals produced two

competitive rematches as Irish took

on Tigers, this time with home

advantage, and Gloucester and

Worcester locked horns once again

having been jostling for the top

spot throughout the pool stages.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

89


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

In Brentford, Bryce Hegarty kicked a

youthful Tigers into the lead but it

was the Exiles who wrestled back

control thanks to England Under-

20s full-back Henry Arundell’s

sensational chip and chase score

after 14 minutes.

Albert Tuisue then crashed over

for two first-half scores on either

side of a Noel Reid try and despite

Hegarty slotting another three

points, by the time flanker Ben

Donnell touched down two minutes

before the break the home side had

a commanding 31-6 lead.

There was no let-up after the

interval, as the mightily impressive

Arundell raced in and Irish went

on to add two tries in six minutes

with both James Stokes and Lucio

Cinti getting themselves on the

scoresheet.

Tigers showed plenty of

fighting spirit, Sam Edwards

and Saumaki both crossing.

But Irish had the last word as

Will Joseph’s late try sealed a

59-20 win and more importantly,

a shot at silverware.

Joining them in the final were

Worcester following a 39-25 win

over Gloucester to

book a place in

their first top-flight

domestic final.

George Barton opened the

scoring with three points for

the Cherry & Whites before

Tom Howe’s converted try

pushed the Warriors ahead.

However, two scores for Cameron

Jordan and Jake Morris put

Gloucester back in the driving

seat with an 18-7 lead.

Crucially, Gareth Simpson nipped

over for a neat score just three

minutes before the interval, Smith’s

conversion reducing the gap to

18-14 after the first 40 minutes.

And player of the match Simpson

benefitted from Scotland

international Duhan van der

Merwe’s good play to score again

five minutes into the second

half before the British and Irish

Lion wing crossed himself as

the tide began to turn.

When Gloucester hooker Henry

Walker collapsed a dangerous

rolling maul, Worcester

were awarded a penalty try

and led 34-18 after Jamie

Shillcock’s penalty.

Despite Alex Morgan

crossing from a pick-and-go

to get Gloucester back within

nine, Worcester avoided a

nervous finish thanks to Niall Annett

powering over with seven minutes

left to clinch the win before the

Warriors went on to be crowned

champions with victory over Irish

in the silverware showpiece.

90 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

We welcome you to Twickenham

Stadium today for the 20th

Premiership Rugby Final. Andy

Baber charts an amazing journey

through three different decades

at rugby HQ.

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

91


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

This year’s Premiership Rugby Final will be the

20th in the league’s history, stretching back to the

first silverware showpiece in 2002-03 when Wasps

prevailed over Gloucester Rugby.

Over the last two decades,

seven different teams have been

crowned champions of England

but no team has appeared in

the main event more often than

Leicester Tigers.

Tigers reached nine Finals in a row

from 2005, winning four of those,

while Saracens are not far behind

them with seven appearances and

a greater success rate of five titles.

The most memorable of Leicester’s

Premiership Rugby title wins

was arguably in 2010 when they

defeated Saracens 33-27 to

become back-to-back champions.

On that day, the Tigers secured

their third title in four years when

Dan Hipkiss crossed the whitewash

minutes before the final whistle to

snatch the lead and the trophy in

dramatic fashion.

But the Men in Black got their

revenge when the two teams

returned to Twickenham a year

later, as they beat Leicester by four

points to win their first title.

The cool composure of a 19-yearold

Owen Farrell made the

difference for Saracens, as it would

do so often in subsequent seasons,

with the fly-half scoring 17 of his

club’s 22 points.

Saracens would wait three years

before they made it back to

Twickenham for the Premiership

Rugby finale, taking on back-toback

finalists Northampton Saints

in 2014.

A year earlier, Saints scored tries

through Stephen Myler, Ben

Foden, and Lee Dickson only to

lose 37-17 to Tigers after captain

Dylan Hartley was sent off just

before half-time.

But Saints were back at Rugby

HQ 12 months later with a point

to prove and that determination

edged them ahead of Saracens,

who they beat 24-20.

Foden scored his second try in

a Premiership Final for Saints to

put them ahead, but this was not

enough to stop the showpiece

from going to extra-time for the

first time.

The atmosphere inside

Twickenham intensified as the

sides prepared to play for 20 more

minutes and Saracens looked to

have the upper hand thanks to the

boot of Charlie Hodgson.

All seemed lost for Northampton

until a last-gasp try from Alex

Waller provoked an eruption of

noise as the Saints fans realised

they were about to lift the title for

the first time.

Saracens bounced back with

consecutive titles in 2015 and

2016, with the first of those

coming against Bath Rugby after

the West Country side reached

their first final for 11 years.

Three first-half tries from Owen

Farrell, Jamie George, and Chris

Wyles gave the 2011 champions

a 25-3 lead and, though Jonathan

Joseph replied for Bath, it was not

enough.

92 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

Then, Mark McCall’s men made it

to the summit of the English game

once more, this time facing Exeter

Chiefs, who were in their fifth

Premiership Rugby season.

Saracens had become champions

of Europe two weeks before and

after dominating the first half –

with tries from Duncan Taylor and

Chris Wyles – they stifled a Chiefs

comeback to win 28-20.

Chiefs didn’t have to wait long

for their moment in the sun at

Twickenham, however, as 12

months later they were back and

this time made sure they lifted the

title.

Their success wasn’t without

drama though as Gareth Steenson

kicked a last-minute penalty to

send the sides into extra-time at

20-20 before kicking the winner

with just three minutes left.

Chiefs were on course to retain

their title the following year as

they returned to Twickenham, but

this time they were unable to get

the better of Saracens as the Men

in Black triumphed 27-10.

It was a repeat outcome 12

months later in 2019 when

Saracens beat Chiefs 37-34 in a

thrilling end-to-end contest to

complete a memorable Europeanleague

double.

The Devon side managed to finally

get their crown back in 2020’s

delayed Final, edging out Wasps

19-13, as they completed their

own Gallagher Premiership and

European double.

The showpiece finale was played

at Rugby HQ in October, months

later than the usual summer date,

after the 2019-20 season was

interrupted due to the Covid-19

pandemic.

Wasps had previously been the

team to beat when Premiership

Rugby Final first came into

being back in 2003 as they won

each of the first three silverware

showpiece events.

The first of these was in 2003 when

Wasps dominated Gloucester 39-3

but the 2004 Final was a lowscoring

affair, with Stuart Abbott

scoring the only try in a 10-6

victory over Bath.

Wasps completed the hat-trick in

2005 when they defeated Leicester

39-14, 26 of these points were

scored by Mark van Gisbergen, in

Martin Johnson and Neil Back’s

last game.

Leicester returned to Twickenham

in 2006 for the second of their

nine consecutive Premiership

Finals but this time it was Sale

Sharks who denied them, winning

45-20.

Jump forward to 2009, Tigers took

part in a much tighter affair with

London Irish at Rugby HQ as a

second-half try from Jordan Crane

sealed a 10-9 success.

Tigers first found Finals success in

2007, in another bruising defeat

for Gloucester at Twickenham as

Leicester dotted down on no fewer

than seven occasions.

Leicester’s legacy was halted the

following year, though, as Wasps

claimed one more title for stalwart

Lawrence Dallaglio before he

retired after 18 years at the club.

And last season’s champions

Harlequins are the only team to

have won more than one Final

without losing, having added the

2020-2021 crown to their success

in 2011-12.

That stunning 40-38 triumph over

the Chiefs set a new record for

the number of tries scored in the

Final, with 11 traded between the

two sides to pip the previous mark

of 10.

PREVIOUS

FINALS

2021

EXETER CHIEFS 38

HARLEQUINS 40

2020

EXETER CHIEFS 19

WASPS 13

2019

EXETER CHIEFS 34

SARACENS 37

2018

EXETER CHIEFS 10

SARACENS 27

2017

EXETER CHIEFS 23

WASPS 20

(A.E.T.)

2016

SARACENS 28

EXETER CHIEFS 20

2015

SARACENS 28

BATH RUGBY 16

2014

NORTHAMPTON

SAINTS 24

SARACENS 20

(A.E.T.)

2013

LEICESTER TIGERS 37

NORTHAMPTON

SAINTS 17

2012

HARLEQUINS 30

LEICESTER TIGERS 23

2011

SARACENS 22

LEICESTER TIGERS 18

2010

LEICESTER TIGERS 33

SARACENS 27

2009

LEICESTER TIGERS 10

LONDON IRISH 9

2008

WASPS 26

LEICESTER TIGERS 16

2007

LEICESTER TIGERS 44

GLOUCESTER

RUGBY 16

2006

SALE SHARKS 45

LEICESTER TIGERS 20

2005

WASPS 39

LEICESTER TIGERS 14

2004

WASPS 10

BATH RUGBY 6

2003

WASPS 39

GLOUCESTER

RUGBY 3

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

93


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

[ SCORED A TRY IN THREE

SEPARATE FINALS ]

CHRIS WYLES

Saracens

2015, 2016 & 2018 (2 tries)

[ INDIVIDUAL MATCH RECORDS IN THE FINAL ]

26

MOST POINTS

MARK VAN

GISBERGEN

Wasps v Leicester

2005

6MOST PENS

CHARLIE

HODGSON

Sale v Leicester

2006

TOBY

FLOOD

Leicester v Saracens

2011

NICK

EVANS

Quins v Leicester

2012

21

QUICKEST

SCORE (SECS)

PETER

HEWAT

Drop Goal

L Irish v Leicester

2009

25

QUICKEST TRY

(SECS)

NIC WHITE

Exeter v Saracens

2019

17

YOUNGEST

FINALIST

BEN YOUNGS

17 YEARS AND

249 DAYS

Leicester v Gloucester

2007

37

OLDEST

FINALIST

37 YEARS AND

304 DAYS

ANDY

DEACON

Gloucester v Wasps

2003

19

YOUNGEST

STARTER

19 YEARS AND

71 DAYS

GEORGE

FORD

Leicester v Quins

2012

37

OLDEST

STARTER

37 YEARS AND

241 DAYS

MIKE CATT

London Irish v

Leicester

2009

23

YOUNGEST

CAPTAIN

23 YEARS AND

209 DAYS

JOE

SIMMONDS

Exeter v Wasps

2020

35

OLDEST

CAPTAIN

35 YEARS AND

294 DAYS

LAWRENCE

DALLAGLIO

Wasps v Leicester

2008

20

YOUNGEST

TRY SCORER

20 YEARS AND

205 DAYS

LOUIS

LYNAGH

Harlequins v Exeter

2021

34

OLDEST TRY

SCORER

34 YEARS AND

256 DAYS

CHRIS

WYLES

Saracens v Exeter

2018

19

YOUNGEST

POINTS

SCORER

19 YEARS AND

71DAYS

GEORGE FORD

Leicester v Quins

2012

37

OLDEST

POINTS

SCORER

37 YEARS AND

117 DAYS

JIMMY

GOPPERTH

Exeter v Wasps

2020

[ SCORED A TRY IN TWO

SEPARATE FINALS ]

JOSH LEWSEY

Wasps - 2003 (2 tries) and 2008

LEWIS MOODY

Leicester - 2006 and 2007

BEN FODEN

Northampton - 2013 and 2014

JACK NOWELL

Exeter - 2016 and 2017

JAMIE GEORGE

Saracens - 2015 and 2019 (2 tries)

HENRY SLADE

Exeter - 2019 and 2020

[ INDIVIDUAL CAREER RECORDS IN THE FINAL ]

7MOST APPS

GEORGE CHUTER

Leicester

GEORDAN MURPHY

Leicester

ALESANA TUILAGI

Leicester

ALEX GOODE

Saracens

BRAD BARRITT

Saracens

RICHARD

WIGGLESWORTH

Saracens

7MOST STARTS

GEORGE CHUTER

Leicester

GEORDAN MURPHY

Leicester

ALEX GOODE

Saracens

BRAD BARRITT

Saracens

73

MOST POINTS

OWEN FARRELL

Saracens

580

MOST MINUTES

PLAYED

ALEX GOODE

Saracens

94 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

[ PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL RECORDS 2003-2021 ]

[ TEAM MATCH RECORDS ]

[ FINAL FOR THREE CLUBS ]

45

HIGHEST

SCORE:

SALE 45

LEICESTER 20

2006

3LOWEST

SCORE:

GLOUCESTER 3

WASPS 39

2003

78

MOST

COMBINED

POINTS:

HARLEQUINS 40

EXETER 38

2021

16

LOWEST

COMBINED

POINTS:

WASPS 10

BATH 6

2004

36

BIGGEST VICTORY:

WASPS 39

GLOUCESTER 3

2003

2EXTRA-

TIME FINALS

NORTHAMPTON 24

SARACENS 20

2014

EXETER 23

WASPS 20

2017

38

MOST 1ST

HALF POINTS:

EXETER 22

SARACENS 16

2019

45

MOST 2ND

HALF POINTS

HARLEQUINS (19)40

EXETER (14)38

11

BIGGEST

COMEBACK TO

WIN

SARACENS 16

EXETER 27

(after 60’) 2019

Saracens went on to win

37-34

81,779

LARGEST

ATTENDANCE:

HARLEQUINS 30

LEICESTER 23

2012

PETER RICHARDS

Wasps 2004, Gloucester 2007,

London Irish 2009

[ BROTHERS IN SAME FINAL ]

MARTIN & WILL JOHNSON

Leicester 2005

BRETT & LOUIS DEACON

Leicester 2007

ALEX & MANU TUILAGI

Leicester 2012

BEN & TOM YOUNGS

Leicester 2012 & 2013

BILLY & MAKO VUNIPOLA

Saracens 2015 & 2018

SAM & JOE SIMMONDS

Exeter 2018, 2019 & 2020

[ PREMIERSHIP FINAL

WINNER WITH TWO CLUBS ]

AYOOLA ERINLE

Wasps (2003, 2004 & 2005) and Leicester (2008)

JEREMY STAUNTON

Wasps (2008) and Leicester (2010)

RICHARD WIGGLESWORTH

Sale (2006) and Saracens (2011, 2015, 2016,

2018, 2019)

CHRISTIAN DAY

Sale (2006) and Northampton (2014)

BEN FODEN

Sale (2006) and Northampton (2014)

CHARLIE HODGSON

Sale (2006) and Saracens (2015 & 2016)

GEOFF PARLING

Leicester (2010 & 2013) and Exeter (2017)

DELON & STEFON ARMITAGE

London Irish 2009

GEORGE & KEN PISI

Northampton 2013 & 2014

JACK & TOM WILLIS

Wasps 2020

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

95


GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP RUGBY FINAL 2022

15

14

13

12

FREDDIE

STEWARD

HARRY

POTTER

MATÍAS

MORONI

DAN

KELLY

1

2

3

4

5

ELLIS

GENGE ©

JULIÁN

MONTOYA

DAN

COLE

HARRY

WELLS

CALUM

GREEN

15

14

13

12

ALEX

GOODE

MAX

MALINS

ELLIOT

DALY

NICK

TOMPKINS

1

2

3

4

5

MAKO

VUNIPOLA

JAMIE

GEORGE

VINCENT

KOCH

MARO

ITOJE

NICK

ISIEKWE

[ TEAMS CORRECT AT TIME OF PRINT ]

96 /premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby


LEICESTER TIGERS V SARACENS

LEICESTER

TIGERS

11

GUY

PORTER

10

GEORGE

FORD

9

BEN

YOUNGS

HEAD COACH: STEVE BORTHWICK

HEAD OF PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE: ALED WALTERS

ASSISTANT COACH: BRETT DEACON

SCRUM COACH: TOM HARRISON

DEFENCE COACH: KEVIN SINFIELD OBE

ASSISTANT COACH: MATT SMITH

ASSISTANT COACH: RICHARD WIGGLESWORTH

HEAD OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS: MATT EGAN

MEDICAL LEAD: JOEY BARTON

6

7

8

REPLACEMENTS:

16 CHARLIE CLARE

17 NEPHI LEATIGAGA

18 JOE HEYES

19 OLLIE CHESSUM

20 GEORGE MARTIN

21 JACK VAN POORTVLIET

22 FREDDIE BURNS

23 NEMANI NADOLO

HANRO

LIEBENBERG

TOMMY

REFFELL

JASPER

WIESE

SARACENS

11

10

9

DIRECTOR OF RUGBY: MARK MCCALL

DIRECTOR OF PERFORMANCE: PHIL MORROW

HEAD COACH: JOE SHAW

FORWARDS COACH: IAN PEEL

BACKS COACH: KEVIN SORRELL

DEFENCE COACH: ADAM POWELL

KICKING COACH: DAN VICKERS

COACH: KELLY BROWN

SEAN

MAITLAND

OWEN

FARRELL ©

ALED

DAVIES

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

6

THEO

MCFARLAND

7

BEN

EARL

8

BILLY

VUNIPOLA

MATCH OFFICIALS

REFEREE: WAYNE BARNES

AR / RES REF: LUKE PEARCE

AR: CHRISTOPHE RIDLEY

TMO: TOM FOLEY

NO 4: CRAIG MAXWELL-KEYS

NO 5: ANTHONY WOODTHORPE

CITING COMMISSIONER:

CHRIS CATLING

TIME KEEPER: ERIC BULLION

/premrugby /PremiershipRugby /premrugby /PremiershipRugby

97


STADIUM

INFORMATION

COVID-19 MEASURES

Please follow good hygiene practices at all times,

including washing your hands regularly, and

avoiding touching your face, handles, and railings

wherever possible.

SECURITY MEASURES

Security measures will be in place at all entrance

points to the stadium. The RFU is working closely

with police and security forces to ensure the safety

of those attending Twickenham Stadium.

OPENING TIMES

Main concourse open at 11:30am and seating bowl

open at 13:30pm.

LICENSED BARS

Level 1 & 2 Bars opeen from 11:30am until 18:45pm

approx (2hrs after FW). Level 4 & 5 bars open from

13:30pm until 16:30pm (15 mins prior to final whistle)

Please note all bars and catering concessions at the

stadium are operated on a cashless basis - only card

payments are accepted.

WORLD RUGBY MUSEUM

South Stand Piazza Entrance open 10:00am until

3:00pm.

RUGBY STORE

Main South Stand store open 09:30am until 6:30pm

and can be accessed from the south concourse. You

can also shop online at englandrugbystore.com

MOBILE STORES

Mobile Stores located on the concourse are open

from 11:30am until 6:30pm.

ENQUIRY OFFICE/LOST CHILDREN

The enquiry office, appropriate for urgent enquiries

or lost children, is located in the southeast corner of

the stadium near Gate F.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

South Western Railways will be running an enhanced

service from Twickenham and Richmond Stations to

London Waterloo and the West.

Walking distance to Twickenham, Whitton & St

Margarets Stations.

London Underground

District Line from Richmond Station and Piccadilly

Line from Hounslow East – normal Saturday service.

London Overground Normal Saturday service.

Shuttle buses to Richmond and Hounslow East

stations will be running for up to three hours

post-match. The shuttle to Richmond picks BRITISH up AIRWAYS

FAN VILLAGE

from Whitton Dene and the shuttle to Hounslow

picks up from Rugby Road, both to the north of

the stadium.

The service is free post-match and pre-match

more than two hours prior to kick off. Less than

two hours prior to kick-off there is a charge of £3

per person.

PITCH INVASION

Any unauthorised pitch access before, during, or

after the game will be liable to ejection from the

grounds and a lifetime ban from Twickenham

Stadium.

FIRST AID

Located in North East corner of the East Stand and

under the South West corner of the West Stand.

LOST PROPERTY

Please email LostProperty@rfu.com

BRITISH AIRWAYS

FAN VILLAGE

TOILETS/ACCESSIBLE

Ladies & Gents Toilets on ground and middle tiers.

Accessible facilities on all main concourses accessed

by RADAR key.

NO ENTRY WITH…

Cans, bottles (any bottle shaped glass container),

canisters, containers, glasses or fireworks – all denied

due to legal liability.


GL

D

AN

ND

ND

D

SHUTTLE

Shuttle Buses to

Hounslow Central

Piccadilly Line

WHITTON DENE

NORTH

CAR PARK

1

430 1

450

251

1

UPPER

130

130

MIDD

DDLE

80

LOWER

NORTH STAND

160

1

D

260

260 1

1

FIRST AID

Shuttle Buses to

Richmond Station

SHUTTLE

Turnstiles and

Search Area

C

LION

GATE

PLAYERS

ENTRANCE

UPPER

MIDD DDLE

177

248

LOWE WER

125

WEST STAND

EAST STAND

LOWER

130

UPPER

MIDD DDLE

205

260

E

RUGBY ROAD

West

Fan Village

FIRST AID

1

1

1

150 240

150

254

SOUTH STAND

453

430

1 1

LOWE

WER 120 1

E

MIDD

DDLE 75

UPPER

75

O

ENGLAND

GLAND

AND

ENGLAND

O

F F

I C

ENGLAND

ENQUIRY

E

TICKET

F

F

E

I C

F

LIVE ROOM

RUGBY HOUSE

VIRGIN

ACTIVE

Gate B

Turnstiles and

Search Area

A

MARRIOTT

WHITTON ROAD

Whitton Station (SWT)

20 minutes walk

(A316) CHERTSEY ROAD

BAG POLICY

Bags should be no larger than A4 size.

South Western Railways & exit to

Rosebine Avenue Car Park

SAFETY/EVACUATION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Loudspeaker safety announcements will be preceded

by a warning tone. Remain in position, listen

carefully to announcements which may direct you to

specified evacuation points, emergency exits,

staircases or onto the pitch.

The PA system is zoned – those you can’t hear clearly

will not at that moment apply to your area. Stewards,

officials and police officers will direct you. Remain

calm, go quickly to point directed for safe

evacuation.

RECYCLING

Black bins are for general waste and green bins are

for recycling. Please help us cut down on waste by

using recycling bins.

NO SMOKING

Please be advised that Twickenham Stadium is now a

completely non-smoking Stadium. The smoking of

cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vaporisers is not permitted

anywhere within the green perimeter fence line of

the stadium.


YOUR

TRUSTED

INSURANCE

BROKER

Loyal supporters of local

businesses and communities

for over 90 years, we help our

clients face the future with

greater confidence.

THE GALLAGHER WAY. SINCE 1927.

Find out how our local

brokers can support your

business at ajg.com/uk

Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and

regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office:

Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55 Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT.

Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909.

FP1160-2021 Exp 06.09.2022 | ARTUK-3134

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