Top-flight royalty Leicester out to make final history

LEICESTER will be looking to buck the trend tomorrow when the Guinness Premiership’s aristocrats collide with its upstarts in the final at Twickenham.

In the seven years that the play-offs have determined who is crowned champions of England, only twice have the winners been the same team that finished first in the table.

The Tigers, led by Martin Corry (right), achieved that feat last season, following the example of Sale Sharks in 2006, and have their sights set on becoming the first side to accomplish it in consecutive years.

Victory would also bring them a record ninth top-flight title, three more than London Wasps and Bath, and underline their status as the dominant force in the domestic game.

On top of that, it would see them equal Wasps’ record of three play-off final triumphs, having thrashed Gloucester to claim the trophy in 2007 and then edged out London Irish 12 months ago.

Saracens, by contrast, have no title-winning pedigree and are preparing for the first Premiership final in the club’s history.

The Watford-based outfit’s only notable honour came more than a decade ago, when they beat Wasps to land the Anglo-Welsh Cup, then sponsored by Tetley’s Bitter.

They are rated around the 7/4 mark with bookmakers, while Leicester are odds-on favourites.

The match will also see the Rugby Players’ Association’s Player of the Year, Saracens hooker Schalk Brits, come up against its Young Player of the Year, Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs.