Ben Foden: Keen to end disappointing season with final glory
Northampton back Ben Foden admits a disappointing season will be salvaged if he can help secure victory over Leicester.
Last Updated: 25/05/13 2:39pm
Foden has struggled with injury all season after damaging his ankle in October, a problem which meant he missed out on selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.
The 27-year-old also had to sit out England's autumn Tests as well as the Six Nations, leaving him determined to help his side to Premiership glory in the wake of their five semi-final defeats.
"It has been a difficult season with my injury. If you rewind the clock 12 months I had a fairly good shot of going on the Lions tour," he said.
"I got injured when I did, I have been out of the international fold since the summer tour to South Africa and when the Lions tour was picked my form wasn't there.
"There was no point arguing my case. I wasn't making breaks and looking as sharp as usual because I was still struggling with my ankle.
"It looks like I will be one of these players who will never be a Lion, which is disappointing because I know it is something my Dad would want more than anything in the world.
"But I will forgive it all if we can go and win a Premiership title at the end of it."
The club themselves have also suffered heartache, with the Saints capitulating to lose the Heineken Cup final to Leinster 33-22 in 2011, having led by 16 points at one stage.
But they were impressive in defeating Saracens in this season's Premiership play-off semi-final to leave Foden in confident mood.
"When you achieve moments like that, going all the way to the final of the Heineken Cup undefeated, going in at half-time 16 points up and losing it is always going to knock teams and shake confidence," he added.
"Last year we were five minutes away from being in the Premiership final but lost to Harlequins. We thought it was the curse of Northampton.
"But this year we were very determined. We took the field with the right mentality. Memories of Cardiff (the defeat to Leinster) echoed around at half-time and we kept up the intensity for 80 minutes."
Leicester will be competing in their ninth consecutive title decider, after seeing off defending champions Harlequins at Welford Road in the semi-final.
Richard Cockerill's side will therefore go into the game confident of victory having beaten Northampton 36-8 at Franklin's Gardens six weeks ago and Foden admitted Saints will have to be at their best to beat their rivals.
"We have had games this season when we have been very poor, when we played Ulster at home and Leicester at home," said Foden.
"If we take the field with that mentality we will get beaten. To win a grand final on the biggest stage against the in-form team in the Premiership will need a massive performance.
"No-one at our club would want it any other way. Leicester v Northampton in our first Premiership final and give us the bragging rights over the rivals down the road."