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."

England head coach Eddie Jones has included Henry Arundell in his 36-man training squad ahead of July's Test series with Australia.

London Irish flier Arundell has caught the eye with a string of impressive performances since making his Premiership debut in February. 

The 19-year-old, who is also eligible to represent Scotland and Wales, may now be in line for a maiden senior England appearance against the Barbarians next month.

That match at Twickenham on June 19 will act as a warm-up ahead of July's three-match series in Australia, starting with a showdown at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Arundell is joined in England's latest training squad by fellow uncapped London Irish player Will Joseph, who is the younger brother of former England centre Jonathan.

Owen Farrell is also included after missing the Six Nations with an ankle injury, while Anthony Watson returns to the Red Rose fold following an injury lay-off of his own.

Ten uncapped players have been included in total and seven members of the squad have 50 caps or more, including the returning Mako Vunipola.

Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Henry Slade and Jamie George are all rested for the three-day training camp, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday.

"We're going to use this camp as an opportunity to prepare a base game for the Barbarians fixture and for a really important Australia tour," Jones said. 

"We'll focus on how we want to play, how we want to be as a team off the field and continue to develop the squad cohesiveness and behaviours.

"It is also 16 months to the World Cup and every minute counts. We want a hard-working and enjoyable environment for the players and make sure we are all on the same page. 

"We want to take a look at some younger players and prepare a base camp for the Barbarians game, particularly as we will be without the Premiership finalists.

"We also want to give some senior players a rest as we get to a crucial part of the season. These players will still be in contention for the Australia tour."

England beat Australia at Twickenham in November, but that preceded a disappointing 2022 Six Nations campaign as they lost three of their five matches and finished third.

 

England training squad

Forwards

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps).

Backs

Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

England lock Charlie Ewels has been given a three-match ban for the red card he received early on against Ireland last weekend.

The 26-year-old was dismissed just 82 seconds into Saturday's 32-15 defeat at Twickenham after clashing heads with opposite number James Ryan.

That red card was the earliest ever in the Six Nations, with each of the three quickest in the competition's history each coming in the last two editions.

Ewels will now miss England's final game of this year's tournament against France in Paris, as well as Bath's Premiership fixtures against Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors.

However, he can undertake a Coaching Intervention Programme to have that suspension reduced to two matches, meaning he will be available to face Worcester on March 30.

Ewels was facing a possible ban of up to six weeks, but that was halved due to mitigating factors such as an early acceptance of the red and his remorse.

 

England's defeat to Ireland means they cannot finish any higher than third in this year's tournament.

Next opponents France are two points better off than Ireland, who host Scotland in the final round of fixtures, and are one win away from a first title and Grand Slam since 2010.

Two of France's three previous Grand Slams have been completed with a win over England in the final round, in 2004 and 2010.

England head to Paris aiming to avoid losing three games in a single edition of the competition for a third time under Eddie Jones, previously doing so in 2018 and 2021.

Fraser Dingwall has been called up to the England squad in place of Manu Tuilagi, who has withdrawn due to injury.

The Sale Sharks centre was hurt during his side's 40-30 Premiership semi-final defeat to Exeter Chiefs last Saturday.

Tuilagi, who missed the autumn internationals last year and England's Six Nations campaign, was only three games into a return following an Achilles problem sustained last September.

Northampton Saints' Dingwall has joined up with Eddie Jones' squad ahead of the match between England A and Scotland A in Leicester on Sunday.

Jones' men then play a Test match double-header against the United States at Twickenham on July 4 and July 10.

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