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Tigers keen to remove bitter taste says Flood

Leicester fly-half Toby Flood is desperate to get rid of the "bitter taste" of back-to-back Aviva Premiership final defeats in today's showpiece against Northampton (live ESPN 2.0).

Richard Cockerill's side are clear favourites to lift the trophy at Twickenham when they play their ninth successive Premiership final.

The Tigers find themselves under immense pressure to get the result, not only due to their ominous recent record, but also because of the weight of expectation against such a significant underdog.

Leicester have won just three times in eight successive trips to Twickenham, losing on their last two visits – to Saracens in the 2011 final and Harlequins last year – and Flood expects another tough clash against their East Midlands rivals.

"Obviously the last couple of trips to Twickenham have been disappointing," the England stand-off said.

"We haven't done ourselves justice, but credit to the teams we played, who played well on the day and deserved it.

"It certainly leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

"But we'd gone there the two times previous to those two and won.

"Sometimes it happens like that. But we're focused on what we need to do this weekend and hopefully we'll get it right.


"I'm sure Northampton are excited, it's a first Premiership final for them and we need to be right on it because we need to match and better those excitement and morale levels that they will have.

"They will be dangerous. They are in exceptional form in recent weeks and to do what they did down at Saracens in the semi-final was as good a performance as you've seen from them in a long time.

"They were outstanding. And the nature of this being their first final can sometimes be a real positive if the excitement levels are huge.

"But likewise for us, we know what we need to do to get it right and we'll need to use that experience as much as we can. You don't know how much of a factor it is because it's always hard to talk about the pros and cons of a hypothetical beast. But we'll see how it goes and hopefully it will be good for us."

The fly-half, who sat out last year's 30-23 defeat by Quins in the final, is wary of underestimating Northampton.

"It was disappointing last year," he said. "It was tough watching from the sidelines."