Freddie Burns says a place in the Gallagher Premiership Final this weekend is a reward for Leicester Tigers’ ability to ‘stay in the battle’ through 10 months of domestic league fixtures.
Tigers topped the table after 26 rounds and now face Saracens in the Final at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
But rather than pick individual moments in the season, Burns said: “I have just been proud of the fight we’ve showed all year. We got some luck a little bit early on but it came from staying in the fight and having each other’s backs. Even games we lost, we have lost by small margins.
“We have battled for everything and stuck in it. When you hang in the fight with 15 or 20 minutes to go, things can happen.
“The club has that workrate for each other. It is about working hard for your mates.”
Burns admitted to be being emotional at the final whistle of the semi-final victory over Northampton Saints having never been involved in a Premiership Final matchday squad.
“On Saturday I was on the bench by full-time and you have to fight back the tears,” he said.
“I’ve played for 13 or 14 years, played in three or four Premiership semi-finals but never reached the big occasion.
“Saracens have a great squad, we know that from the success they’ve had. But we go and focus on ourselves and try to get that right. It is going to be a monumental effort, we all know the power that Saracens squad have.”