Stuart Barnes says George Ford was the catalyst as Leicester earned a spot in the Premiership final.
Last Updated: 22/05/12 7:39pm
Rugby Club's Stuart Barnes was full of praise for Leicester fly-half George Ford after he helped his side into this season's Premiership final.
The 19-year-old, son of former England defence coach, Mike Ford, kicked four penalties and set-up both of the Tigers' tries during their 24-15 semi-final win over 2011 champions Saracens at Welford Road last Saturday.
"George Ford gave a spectacular performance and one of the most noteworthy from an English teenager for a long time," Barnes said of the Oldham-born star, who replaced Toby Flood at number 10.
"[Saracens'] Owen Farrell is the England fly-half at the moment but of the two young men Ford was by far the most accomplished.
"With so little game time in the Premiership, the quality of his tactical kicking and his passing was quite exceptional."
Leicester will face Harlequins in the Premiership showpiece on May 26, after the Londoners squeezed past Northampton by a 25-23 scoreline.
However, ex-Ulster and Ireland wing, Tyrone Howe, says Conor O'Shea's men - who led the top-flight at the end of the regular season - will need to perform to a much higher standard if they are to conquer the Tigers and win their maiden Premiership crown.
"Quins were in this straitjacket of nerves having led the Premiership for so long," said Howe.
"Lee Dickson's try [which put Northampton into an eight-point lead with 15 minutes remaining] was a shock to the system and they started playing more creatively after that.
"And finally, through the set-piece, they managed to get across the line. It was the scrum in particular that kept Quins in the game.
"We saw a great match between Quins and Tigers a couple of weeks back when Tigers won at the Stoop. We suspected that might be the best final - but Quins know they have got to play a heck of a lot better."