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It's the big one - Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints

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More than 130 years of rivalry will reach boiling point today as Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints meet in the Aviva Premiership final.

A crowd of 82,000 people will hold their breath at kick-off as two sworn enemies clash at Twickenham in the most important one of their 228 meetings.

Millions of people will also be watching on television across the world, while houses and pubs in Leicester and Northampton will be packed to the rafters.

It is going to be the most eagerly-awaited final in the competition's history.

Organisers said this week they could have sold more than 100,000 tickets for the game.

After both clubs shifted their allocation of seats, £70 tickets were selling on the internet for up to £315 each, such was the demand.

Bookies have made Leicester overwhelming favourites to lift a 10th English league title on their ninth consecutive appearance in the Premiership final.

That is on the back of seven consecutive wins over their arch-rivals, the most recent being a 36-8 hammering at Franklin's Gardens just eight weeks ago.

Saints, meanwhile, will have drawn confidence from a semi-final they entered against Saracens as big underdogs, only to come out of it with a resounding victory.

They will believe they can do the same again to Leicester.

Both sides will go into the game at virtually full strength.

In a game where set-piece dominance will be crucial, Tigers lock Geoff Parling will be a key man for his side.

The 29-year-old said: "We all realise that just getting to the final isn't good enough.

"When you win games like this, you remember those days, not just for the rest of your career, but for your life.

"When you lose those games, it's the same in reverse. These are big opportunities for all of us and you have to make the most of them."

It's all or nothing for two clubs who are separated by just 34.6 miles in distance.

There will be nothing on offer for finishing second and there will be no 'next week' to put things right.

It's the big one - Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints


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