Tom Youngs insists focus is on Tigers rather than Lions in the Leicester camp ahead of final with Northampton
Youngs is set to be joined in Tigers' Twickenham line-up by five fellow Lions
Friday 24 May 2013
Leicester's pride of Lions will target Aviva Premiership title glory at Twickenham tomorrow when they face fierce midlands rivals Northampton.
And hooker Tom Youngs says there is no danger of him being distracted by the forthcoming British and Irish Lions tour to Hong Kong and Australia, which takes off from London on Monday afternoon.
Youngs is set to be joined in Tigers' Twickenham line-up by five fellow Lions - his brother Ben, centre Manu Tuilagi, prop Dan Cole, lock Geoff Parling and flanker Tom Croft.
Leicester, beaten five times on their eight previous Premiership final appearances, have not been crowned English champions since 2010, while Saints make their debut in the domestic season's showpiece finale.
"It's not difficult to stay focused on Tigers, not for me personally," Youngs said.
"I feel like the only reason I am going on the Lions tour is because of my club. They get me to play for my country, so I play for my country, do well there and then I am selected on the Lions tour.
"The reason I won Premiership player of the year is due to the coaches, the players I play with, the people who help me day in, day out. So the award is great, but it's down to them as well, so as a team you want to win a trophy.
"Winning the title would mean everything to me, and as a team to not let it slip away from us for a third time (in succession) would mean everything."
Leicester beat Saints twice during the regular league campaign, including a crushing 36-8 win at Franklin's Gardens in March, but Youngs added: "Form goes out of the window, previous games go out of the window.
"It's a final, a one-off game, and that is all you've got to focus on. A lot of Saints players are international players, so they will have played in big games."
Northampton tore up the Premiership form book by beating title favourites Saracens away from home in the semi-finals, but they will still arrive at Twickenham as underdogs.
"When we turn up we can beat anyone - like we did at Saracens," Northampton and England lock Courtney Lawes said. "Our biggest problem has been putting games together consistently.
"We have not had the best season, but that doesn't mean we can't go out and win. We have never been underdogs as much as this year, and going into the Saracens game I don't think anyone thought we would win.
"It just goes to show that it's on the day and about who turns up. I don't mind the underdog tag. Being underdogs suits us, and we will go and play as that."
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