Mujati & Tonga’uiha look to go out on a high

Northampton Saints are hoping to give their departing props Soane Tonga’uiha and Brian Mujati the perfect send-off by winning their first English Premiership title against Leicester at Twickenham on Saturday.

The duo, who have both agreed to join French club Racing Metro at the end of the season, would love to bow out on a high against a Leicester team who are in their ninth successive final.

However, Leicester demolished reigning champions Harlequins in their semi-final and have unfinished business at English rugby’s headquarters having lost the last two finals.

The Tigers are clear favourites but Tonga’uiha, who was part of an equally impressive semi-final win over Saracens, is adamant his side can cause an upset this weekend.

Tonga’uiha said: “I’m sure I can speak on Brian’s behalf as well when I say that we didn’t want the semi-final to be our last game for the Saints.

“The boys were right behind us for that game and a lot of guys stepped up and led from the front.

“It was a massive achievement and something I really enjoyed. It’s full credit to the squad for that performance and hopefully that’s something we can repeat on Saturday.

“I’ve always said that once we get into the knockout stages anything can happen and we’ve proven that in the semi-final as well as in the past.

“Come the final though you’ve got to put the past behind you again and focus on what’s in front of you for the 80 minutes.

“I’ll be fully focused on Leicester and I’m sure the rest of the boys will be exactly the same.”

Second row Courtney Lawes added: “We’ve got so many talented players in our team that if we turn up and perform, we’re hard to stop.

“The commentators have said that and we proved at Saracens that we can be a handful for anyone.”

This will be the first time the two East Midlands rivals have met in English rugby’s showpiece game and Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill admits his side dare not come second best.

“Of all the sides in the league that this club doesn’t want to lose to, it would certainly be Northampton,” he said.

“There’s no point pretending otherwise, and I am sure they would say they probably feel the same way.

“Grand Finals are special every time you play in them but, with the local rivalry and the history that we have, both on and off the field, it gives it a bit of an extra edge.

“The set-pieces will be huge. It always is against Saints, and it should be a great battle in the scrum and line-out.”

After Saturday’s final the teams will disperse, with six of the Leicester squad on British and Irish Lions duty in Australia along with Northampton captain Dylan Hartley.

Northampton’s Tom Wood will lead England’s two-Test tour to Argentina where he will be joined by club mates Lawes, Luther Burrell, Stephen Myler, Ben Foden and Lee Dickson.

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