|Leicester Tigers (6) 27|
|Tries: Ford, Steward Con: Ford Pliers: Ford 4 Drop goal: Ford|
|Northampton Saints (6) 14|
|Try: freeman Pliers: Biggar 2, Grayson|
George Ford inspired Leicester to victory against Northampton in his final home game at Welford Road to send Tigers to the Premiership final against Saracens.
The scores were locked at 6-6 at the break after Ford traded first-half penalties with Dan Biggar, who was forced off injured in the second half.
Tommy Freeman then scored for Saints, before Ford hit back with a try.
Three more Ford kicks and a late Freddie Steward try completed the win.
The Tigers claimed their 10th Premiership title last time they reached the final in 2013, beating East Midlands rivals Northampton 37-17.
Leicester’s win sets up a final showdown between first and second in the Premiership table, with Tigers finishing seven points clear of Saracens after 24 regular season games.
They are also two sides who have been heavily punished in recent years for salary cap breaches.
Sarries have returned to the summit of English rugby after being promoted back to the Premiership following relegation in 2020 for persistent salary cap breaches.
Leicester themselves overspent – albeit by significantly smaller sums – in each season between 2016-17 and 2019-20 and were this season hit with a fine of almost £310,000.
Defeat means Chris Boyd’s four-year tenure as Saints director of rugby ends without a trophy.
As a home farewell for club stalwarts Ford and Ellis Genge, promised emotions to be high at Welford Road.
A minute’s applause in memory of Tiffany Youngs, the wife former club captain Tom who passed away earlier in the week, was a heartfelt moment before the start of a thunderous contest that was shared by every player and fan in the packed stadium.
Tigers’ England Scrum-half Ben Youngs, Tiffany’s brother-in-law, started alongside Ford, whose 22 points proved instrumental in the high-stakes derby.
More to follow.
Leicester Tigers: steward; Potter, Moroni, Kelly, Porter; Ford, Youngs; Genge (c), Montoya, Cole; Wells, Green, Liebenberg, Reffell, Wiese.
replacements: Clare, Leatigaga, Heyes, Chessum, Martin, Van Poortvliet, Burns, Nadolo.
Northampton Saints: Freeman; Proctor, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Skosan; Biggar, Mitchell; Iyogun, Matavesi, Painter; Coles, Ratuniyarawa, Lawes, Ludlam (c), Augustus.
replacements: Haywood, Waller, Heffernan, Ribbans, Hinkley, James, Grayson, Francis.
Referee: Matthew Carley.