Northampton Saints: Premiership final 'do or die'

Aviva Premiership final: Leicester v Northampton

  • Venue: Twickenham
  • Date: Saturday, 25 May
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Leicester and BBC Radio Northampton, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Northampton's Tom Wood has urged his side to seize a rare opportunity in the Premiership final against Leicester.

Saints have never before reached the final and have fallen at the semis in the past three seasons.

"This isn't just another game. This is do or die for us," flanker Wood told BBC Radio Northampton.

"We've spent a long time trying to get to this point and come up short before. It's Twickenham, an East Midlands derby - there's a lot at stake."

Saints' sickening semis

  • 2012 - beaten by Harlequins
  • 2011 - beaten by Leicester
  • 2010 - beaten by Saracens
  • 2004 - beaten by Wasps
  • 2003 - beaten by Wasps

Northampton secured their first ever Premiership final with a superb surprise victory at top-of-the-table Saracens.

It sets up a Twickenham clash on Saturday against Tigers, their local rivals and a side they have failed to beat in their last six Premiership encounters.

"We can't depend on the fact we may be here next year or down the line," added 18-time England cap Wood. "We've got our opportunity, we've fought hard and given ourselves a chance. Now we need to take it.

"The supporters stood by us all year even though we've had an up-and-down season. They could have easily bailed but it's a sell-out at Twickenham."

Mallinder & West: Straight-talking Saints

Wood's England team-mate Dylan Hartley has plenty of experience of playing at English rugby's headquarters.

The 27-year-old has 47 caps to his name but will skipper Saints into new territory.

"The prospect of winning the club's first Premiership final in front of 85,000 people at Twickenham is pretty special," he said. "Not with international team-mates, but with club mates.

"I want to do myself and the shirt justice. I don't want to let my team-mates down.

"As long as one to 15 and your reserves turn up on the day and we play like we did against Saracens, we'll have a chance."