Chris Hewett

Chris Hewett is Rugby Union Correspondent for The Independent.

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Steve Borthwick, playing his last game before retirement, looks on after his Saracens side lost the Premiership final to Northampton

Video technology controversy overshadows thrilling Premiership final

Some of the England party currently preparing for Test duty in New Zealand were up until 4am watching the most heart-poundingly dramatic of all Premiership finals – one of the more innocent nocturnal activities in the recent history of red-rose trips to All Black country – and it may be that they are still awake, trying to work out what the hell happened.

Premiership final: Warrior Brits seeks final word in ‘grudge match’

It is hard to think of a player who revels in the joy of rugby more obviously than Schalk Brits, so when the twinkle-toed Saracens hooker with the permanent smile refers to Saturday afternoon’s Aviva Premiership final with Northampton at Twickenham as a “grudge match”, you can bet your bottom dollar that the relationship between the two strongest clubs in England is based on something just a little darker than love, affection and mutual understanding.

Stephen Myler in the home dressing room at Franklin’s Gardens

Premiership final: Stephen Myler quietly puts Saints first

But after Saturday’s game the unsung hero will be glad to turn his thoughts to England

Steve Borthwick: ‘I’d happily go back and do it all over again,’ he says of his amazing career with Bath, Sarries and England ahead of the Premiership final tomorrow

Saracens v Northampton: Quiet man Steve Borthwick looks to bow out with a bang

Saracens captain will retire after grand final unheralded but with head held high

Dylan Hartley’s fitness will be assessed tomorrow ahead of Northampton’s Premiership final on Saturday

England tour: Hartley fights to make tour as Corbisiero is protected

It is one of the peculiar ironies of front-row life that Alex Corbisiero, the best loose-head prop in England, will not be facing the All Blacks in New Zealand next month even though he is fully fit, while Dylan Hartley, the best hooker in England, has a realistic chance of squaring up to the reigning world champions despite the fact that he isn’t.

Owen Farrell (right) and Steve Borthwick during last Saturday’s Heineken Cup final defeat to Toulon

Sarries refuse to dwell on Cup defeat as they target a fitting finale for Borthwick

It was a day of aches, sprains and strains for Saracens as they set about scraping themselves off the canvas following Saturday’s Heineken Cup knock-out blow against Toulon and restoring their faculties ahead of this weekend’s Premiership final with Northampton at Twickenham.

Danny Cipriani intends to leave troubled past behind and fly under the radar with England

England’s highly gifted No 10 is ready to make new headlines on the pitch in New Zealand

Leinster’s Brian O’Driscoll lifts the trophy in 2011

Moments that made the Heineken Cup special

On the day of the final final, Chris Hewett looks back at the highlights - and a few lowlights - that remain indelibly in the memory from the past 19 years of European rugby's premier cup competition

Heineken Cup Final 2014: Jonny Wilkinson ignores grand farewells to focus on going out a winner

Legendary outside-half has serious business against Saracens and swerves the emotion of last appearance on British soil

Ben Foden (second right) scores Saints' second try late on to seal their victory

Bath 16 Northampton 30 match report: Stephen Myler puts Saints in sight of double as George Ford crumbles in Amlin Challenge Cup final

The Northampton fly-half was able to respond when Alex Corbisiero made a mess of the West Country front row

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