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Twickenham return means everything to us, says Leicester Tigers flanker Julian Salvi

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Leicester Tigers flanker Julian Salvi says it "will mean everything" for the players to run out once more at a Twickenham final.

The 27-year-old was a commanding presence in his side's spectacular 33-16 win against champions Harlequins.

With Northampton Saints setting up a mouth-watering East Midlands final after beating Saracens on Sunday, Salvi says he is looking forward to making a second appearance at HQ since joining Tigers in 2011.

"We celebrated on Saturday night but we know that we have a massive job ahead of us now," he said.

"It's all about preparing for the final and that will mean everything to the boys when we play at Twickenham again.

"It was a huge win for us over Quins and we were thrilled with it.

"We defended well in the first half when they controlled the ball and we held our line strongly.

"But the killer blow was the try we scored before half-time, and then we knew we had to control the ball in the second half which we did well.

"We hit our breakdowns well and let the backs sing."

Tigers' win put them through to an unprecedented ninth consecutive Premiership final and made sure that the reigning champions lost their grip on the crown.

"We knew that we had the support of the Welford Road crowd behind us and that we needed to step up," said Salvi.

"We did that and are through to the final again. That was as good as we have played."

Salvi will go up against fellow back-rower Tom Wood in the showpiece occasion and the Saints flanker, who will lead England on their tour of Argentina in the summer, said his side certainly owe Leicester after losing the last seven games against their bitter rivals.

"We can't get carried away at this stage," Wood told BBC Radio Northampton. "It's no good being in a final and folding.

"We've got two weeks to prepare for that, and we know the threats Leicester pose and how tough a game that is going to be.

"It's quite a different challenge to Saracens, so we're going to have to go back to the drawing board and re-assess because we saw what they did to us at home not so long ago.

"We really owe them a few because we've lost a number of times against Leicester recently, but we've proven what we can do and it's about reproducing it now."

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder insisted Leicester would be favourites for the game.

"Leicester have a wonderful squad, strength in depth and they are playing well," he said. "We know what challenge lies ahead."

Twickenham return means everything to us, says Leicester Tigers flanker Julian Salvi


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