Premiership: Northampton Saints plays Leicester Tigers in the semi-final

Leicester Tigers pair Ellis Genge (left) and George Ford
Ellis Genge (left), who will join Bristol in the next season, and George Ford who will head to Sale Sharks.
Venue: Mattioli Woods Welford Road Date: Saturday, June 11 Kick-off: 16:30 BST Coverage: Live scores and updates on BBC Sport.

In Saturday's Premiership semifinal, Ellis Genge (captain of Leicester Tigers) and George Ford (fly-half) will play Northampton Saints at Welford Road.

Progenge would be leaving Bristol to join Ford in Sale, so a win by the Tigers would send Genge and Ford a farewell at Twickenham next week.

Saints' new boss Chris Boyd made four changes to the team, starting Juarno Augus at number 8.

Courtnall Skosan, Emmanuel Iyogun, and Ehren Painter are also in.

The winner will face Harlequins or Saracens in the final at Twickenham, 18 June.

Genge and Ford will share an emotional day. There will be a minute of applause to remember Tiffany Youngs, former Tigers skipper Tom. who passed away earlier this week.

Ben Youngs will be starting at scrum-half in Leicester, Tiffany's brother-in-law.

Julian Montoya, the hooker, returns to the scene after a month off. Dan Kelly, the centre, makes his first appearance since mid April.

Tigers reached their first semi-final in five years by finishing top of the table.

“Still early in Tigers’ journey”

Steve Borthwick, the Tigers' head coach, says that there is plenty to be improved upon after struggling at the bottom of this table for the past few seasons.

Borthwick stated that “We are still very early in this journey,” BBC Radio Leicester reported.

“You're speaking about a club that almost got relegated two-years ago. It was a club that wasn’t really respected and was losing most of its games. The only major games were the relegation contests.

“To come back from it, every game and every week are important. Can we get better every week? This week, that's our challenge.

“One of our exciting aspects is that there is so many more things we can do and so many more we, as coaches and players, can work towards.

“The team is growing rapidly, it's young, and it learns quickly from its experiences.”

Saints are ‘excited by semi-final derby

Northampton forwards coach Phil Dowson says they have had two “chastening experience” against East Midlands rivals thus far this season. They were defeated 55-26 at home, and 35-20 in Leicester.

Saints won six of their last seven Premiership matches and secured a place in the play-offs.

Dowson, who will replace Chris Boyd as Saints' rugby director in the summer, said that it felt “pretty special”.

“We worked hard to get a chance in the semi-finals, and it's exciting.

“We have taken a hide twice (against Leicester), but they have been quite chastening, particularly in a local derby.

“We need to learn our lessons and it is obvious for us in terms if we are going to get our game up and how we deal with their dominant and aggressive performances.

How we get into the game is crucial to the success and viability of our game-plan. You have to be physically fit and disciplined.

Match facts

  • After winning only one of the five previous matches (L4), Leicester Tigers have now won three of their four Premiership matches against Northampton Saints. However, their four losses against Northampton were all at home.
  • The Tigers won their last home tie against Saints in semi-finals (1-3 May 2011).
  • Leicester has lost four of the last four Premiership play-off matches, but they were all away losses. They have won seven of their previous home semi final ties without conceding more than 16 points.
  • Northampton lost their play-off match against Northampton (L1), having won their first four matches (L3). They also lost their semi-final tie away (v Saracens (2012)-13).
  • There has been no player who averaged more than Dan Biggar (12.3) from Northampton or George Ford (12.0) from Leicester, of players who have featured for at least 600 minutes during the Premiership season.

Line-ups

Leicester Tigers: Steward; Potter, Moroni, Kelly, Porter; Ford, Youngs; Genge (c), Montoya, Cole; Wells, Green, Liebenberg, Reffell, Wiese.

Replacements: Clare, Leatigaga, Heyes, Chessum, Martin, Van Poortvliet, Burns, Nadolo.

Northampton Saints Freeman; Proctor, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Skosan; Biggar, Mitchell; Iyogun, Matavesi, Painter; Coles, Ratuniyarawa, Lawes, Ludlam (c), Augustus.

Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Heffernan, Ribbans, Hinkley, James, Grayson, Francis.

Referee: Matthew Carley.

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