Tigers and Quins clash too close to call

First published in Rugby Union Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Former Leicester Tigers scrum half Austin Healey has described Saturday’s Premiership final between Harlequins and former club Leicester Tigers as too close to call.

The two teams go head-to-head at rugby HQ tomorrow in the climax to the domestic campaign.

Tigers go into the game with the weight of experience and form on their side having featured in the last eight finals and rounded off this season with an 11-game winning streak – including a 43-33 triumph at the Stoop.

Quins finished the season top of the table having kicked off the campaign with 10 straight league wins and edged past Northampton Saints in a semi-final thriller to take their place on centre stage.

And Healey, ESPN rugby analyst for its exclusively live coverage of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final, insisted the game hinged on fine margins.

“If it is an open game then I think Leicester have the edge in terms of X Factor in the backs,” he said.

“But, if it is slightly tighter, Quins have the forwards to take control.

“Mike Brown has been excellent for Quins all year, George Lowe is one of the best defensive centres in the world and forwards like Nick Easter, Chris Robshaw and Maurie Fa’asavalu have been amazing.

“Quins are a very strong side and Conor O’Shea has done an amazing job.

“Dean Richards may have started everything, but under Conor they have got very serious about their goals. They have become more professional.

“The last week preparation is all about working on the little things. The physical and fitness training has already been done throughout the season. Now they will be looking at the little things to get an edge.

“I remember one final where Wasps targeted the front of the Leicester line-out and it turned out to be the difference. It is those little weaknesses coaches will be looking to exploit.”

ESPN has exclusively live coverage of the Aviva Premiership Final between Quins and Leicester, on-air at 2pm on May 26.

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