Borthwick hails 'relentless' Ford and Farrell ahead of Premiership final

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

George Ford and Owen Farrell have been hailed as "relentless in their pursuit of excellence" as they attempt to steer their teams to victory in Saturday's Premiership final.

The boyhood friends and England internationals will be on opposite sides at Twickenham, with Ford starting at fly-half for Leicester and Farrell wearing the No 10 shirt for Saracens.

"There are huge similarities between the two of them," Leicester head coach and former Saracens captain Steve Borthwick said Friday.

"They love rugby, they are relentless in their pursuit of excellence, the amount of training they would do, how driven they are to win.

"George is an incredible tactical leader and very astute in terms of what the team needs. He is a guy who wants to get better, and it is a privilege to work with him."

Borthwick has given a surprise Twickenham start to 39-year-old Richard Wigglesworth, with England scrum-half Ben Youngs on the bench.

Wigglesworth helped Saracens win Premiership and European titles during his 10 years with the north London club before joining Leicester.

Chris Ashton, the Premiership's record try-scorer and himself a former Saracen, is also in the Leicester line-up

Saracens show one change from the side that beat reigning champions and London rivals Harlequins in the semi-final, with lock Nick Isiekwe replacing Tim Swinson.

Leicester finished the regular season as a league leaders but while they are chasing an 11th English title, this will be their first final since 2013.

Former England captain Borthwick has overseen a revival in the fortunes of the club, who defeated Northampton in the semi-finals.

"I am excited about this team, the journey we are on, and it is another step for us," Borthwick said.

"It is a really experienced Saracens team, their squad is packed full of international experience, so we know it is an incredible challenge."

Saracens are competing for major honours again following their relegation to the Championship two years ago for repeated salary cap breaches.

The London club were able to hold on to key players and staff, including long-serving director of rugby Mark McCall.

"His (McCall's) ability to see the bigger picture is second to none, and his biggest strength," said Saracens and England prop Mako Vunipola.

"It is his ability to see that something we need to fix in September or October, otherwise it will come and bite us when we get to March or April.

"There are not many coaches that have the patience to deal with the number of personalities we have in the team."

jdg/jw/ea