BEN Foden has lurched from one disappointment to the next this season – but all that will be forgotten if he can help Northampton defeat arch-rivals Leicester to win their first Aviva Premiership title.
Foden suffered an ankle injury in October which ruled him out of England’s autumn Tests, the RBS Six Nations and ultimately cost him his dream of representing the British and Irish Lions. That was the ultimate setback, but after a catalogue of misfortune, Foden has the chance for redemption in today’s titanic East Midlands derby at Twickenham – and he is desperate to take it.
“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,” said Foden. “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.
“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.”
Leicester are in their ninth consecutive title decider, having deposed reigning champions Harlequins at Welford Road in the semi-final. Six weeks ago they won 36-8 at Franklin’s Gardens.
“We have had games this season when we have been very poor, when we played Ulster at home and Leicester at home,” Foden said.
“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.”