Leicester Tigers' match-winner Freddie Burns expressed his disbelief after achieving a life-long ambition by lifting the Premiership title on Saturday.

Hanro Liebenberg and Jasper Wiese scored the only tries of the final at Twickenham, but Owen Farrell kept Saracens in the game with three penalties, while Elliot Daly added another with his boot.

The last of Farrell's penalties came with four minutes remaining to level at 12-12, but late drama settled the contest in Leicester's favour as Burns stepped up with a last-minute drop goal to snatch the Tigers' first Premiership title in nine years.

The 32-year-old was only on the pitch due to a first-half injury to George Ford, who was forced off with a reoccurrence of an ankle issue in his final Leicester game before he joins Sale Sharks.

That injury will be of concern to England coach Eddie Jones ahead of his side's tour of Australia next month, but at least for Leicester, Ford's injury was not in vain.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live after the victory, an emotional Burns reflected on a victory that he dedicated to his family.

"I can't tell you much, I'm in disbelief right now," he said. "The fight this team has showed all year. That's my job to kick it but we were up against it and we pulled ourselves up from the depths again.

"I'm in shock. I'm over the moon. It's everything. I said when I was five years old that I had two ambitions and that was to play for my country and to win the Premiership and with a year in Japan I thought it has gone.

"It just means the world. It chokes me up just thinking about it. Not many people know but your family ride the ups and downs with you. It means as much to them as it does to me."

Saracens captain Farrell credited the Tigers for punishing his side's mistakes.

"It was a game of not making too many mistakes. They were not playing anything in their half and I think it frustrated us," he told BT Sport.

"They’ve played well all season and carried that into today. They stuck to the gameplan and when we made mistakes they punished us.

"There weren't too many cracks in that game, when mistakes were made they punished us."

George Ford is back in the England squad ahead of the upcoming Six Nations as Eddie Jones awaits an update on captain Owen Farrell, but Jonny May is out.

Farrell has endured an injury-hit season so far and suffered a setback in training last week, with his club Saracens revealing he was set to see a specialist about the unspecified issue.

While he is all but ruled out of the Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 5, England are yet to confirm if Farrell can return after the Calcutta Cup clash.

Nevertheless, Ford is back in the selection to make up for Farrell's absence against Scotland, with the Leicester Tigers fly-half seemingly set for his 78th cap.

Ford has not played for England since the 32-18 Six Nations defeat to Ireland last March, with Marcus Smith's emergence nudging him down the pecking order, but he has the chance to stake his claim once again.

Also in Monday's squad update, England confirmed May has withdrawn from the squad with a knee injury, while Courtney Lawes – initially one of the favourites to deputise as captain in Farrell's stead – must sit out training this week because of head injury protocols.

Nick Isiekwe has joined up with the squad as cover for Lawes, while Elliot Daly is in for May.

 

England captain Owen Farrell is a doubt for the Six Nations after suffering an injury in training.

The versatile Farrell has not played since November after undergoing ankle surgery he required due to damage done during a 32-15 victory over Australia at Twickenham.

Farrell was due to feature for Saracens in their European Challenge Cup clash with London Irish on Sunday, but the 30-year-old has suffered another setback.

Sarries said in a statement: "Owen was back in full training having recovered from the ankle injury he sustained against Australia during the Autumn internationals. 

"We will have a further update after he sees a specialist early next week."

Farrell's place in the England side has been called into question, but Eddie Jones this week firmly backed his skipper after naming his squad for a Six Nations tournament that the Red Rose start against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 5.

"We believe Owen can get into his best form very quickly and we believe he will be right to play against Scotland," the England head coach said.

“We are hopeful he's going to play this weekend. He has got a good training week with us next week and we will know whether he is right to play. We will just have to wait and see how he goes over the next couple of weeks.

"He's the best person to captain the team. Very clearly, he's the best person in my judgement to captain the team.

"If he's fit and eligible for selection, he will captain the team. If he's not then we will make an adjustment to that."

Courtney Lawes would appear to be the most likely player to take over as captain after leading his country in a win over South Africa in the absence of Farrell.

England captain Owen Farrell is a major doubt for the start of the Six Nations after it was revealed he must undergo ankle surgery.

Farrell limped off during England's 32-15 victory over Australia at Twickenham last Saturday.

Saracens on Thursday revealed the England skipper will be out for 10 to 12 weeks, with an operation required.

The versatile Farrell faces a battle to be fit for the Red Rose's opening game of the 2022 Six Nations against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 5.

Sarries also confirmed in a fitness bulletin that their England hooker Jamie George will be sidelined for eight to 10 weeks due to the knee damage he sustained in the win over the Wallabies.

The Premiership club were able to offer positive news of Elliot Daly, who is back in full training and available to return after recovering from a leg injury.

England head coach Eddie Jones has named Courtney Lawes as captain for the clash with South Africa on Saturday in the absence of Farrell.

Manu Tuilagi moves to inside centre to fill the void left by Farrell, with Joe Marchant starting on the right wing.

Rookie duo Bevan Rodd and Jamie Blamire will start in the front row, while hooker Nic Dolly could make his debut off the bench against the world champions.

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