George Furbank: We want to go and win it for the Northampton boys who are leaving

Furbank's excellent season for club and country could come to a crescendo at Twickenham
©Northampton Saints

England full-back George Furbank insists Northampton can deliver a fairytale ending for club legends Courtney Lawes and Alex Waller in Saturday's Gallagher Premiership final.

In 2014, Lawes lifted the title in front of teenager Furbank - who was in the crowd with his sister - as they witnessed Waller crash over in extra-time to defeat Saracens 24-20.

Waller is the only other survivor from the team who created history a decade ago and he also wants the perfect ending to his remarbakle Saints career. It will also be the final game for forwards Lewis Ludlam and Alex Moon.

For Furbank, Saturday's final against Bath will be a full circle moment as he explained: “I was there at Twickenham [in 2014]. Me and my sister went for the day – my Dad was desperate to go but gave away his ticket so she could go. We had a pretty good day out.

“It is going to be surreal to be playing there 10 years later. Imagine 40,000 Saints fans with their shoes off doing the Shoe Army at Twickenham - that would be good fun.

“Having watched Courtney lift the trophy and then playing with him in a Prem final is pretty cool. When I look back I will feel very grateful I have been able to do that with a legend of the game. We want to go and win it for him and the other boys who are leaving.”

Following last Friday's Premiership semi-final victory over Saracens, it was clear Saints had learnt important lessons from their Investec Champions Cup last-four defeat against Leinster and Furbank is confident the team will start quickly against Bath.

Furbank said: “From the Leinster game, the lesson is to remain calm and composed while being as physical as you would like. We probably weren’t as calm and clear thinking as we wanted and that didn’t allow us to put our game on the field and they took a pretty handy lead. We had to chase it back and we did that pretty well but if you start big games like that, then you are on the back foot.

“We spoke about being calm and getting our bodies firing. Saracens had the better of the first 20 mins and then we put our game on the field and ultimately got the scoreboard ticking over which is massive in those games.”

Furbank is enjoying a career-best campaign with England and Northampton and believes he has earned his international squad place through his improved form which owes much to pre-season gym sessions at Saints.

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He replaced Leicester’s Freddie Steward at full-back for England in a move that shocked many, but head coach Steve Borthwick wanted to utilise Furbank’s attacking skills and pace.

Furbank explained: “I have earned my place (in the England squad) more than I had previously and that is why I feel more comfortable in that space. Before, I felt I was in there for experience and hadn’t played loads in the Premiership. Now, I feel more justified being in the squad and I am enjoying it.

“We did eight or nine gym sessions a week in pre-season to try and put some bulk on. I put on 4kgs at my heaviest and that was going to fall off as we got into the season but I felt in a better place for it. I don’t count calories but it was probably 4 or 5,000 calories a day."

And all the hard work for Furbank and Northampton will boil down to Saturday. "It’s the last dance. Win this game and you come away with a trophy. If you don’t, you finish runners-up," he said.

"Our game has definitely developed and is in a better place to win these big games than it was 12 months ago.

"We’ve experienced some big games already this season, which has put us in a good place. Even playing Saracens in the semi-final, the pressure was really on.

"We’ve had a few good experiences and we now want to use those lessons in the final."

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

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