Big plans for Ford
Leicester's new kid on the block George Ford plans to come out "all guns blazing" next season after a punishing summer of training.
The 19-year-old guided Leicester into their eighth successive Premiership final, kicking 14 points and creating tries for Alesana Tuilagi and Steve Mafi as Tigers ended Saracens' league title reign with a 24-15 victory at Welford Road.
Ford is being talked about as a potentially pivotal member of England's 2015 World Cup squad, but he said: "I am not looking that far ahead. I am going to go away and have a rest, then come back and do a full pre-season, which I think will be great for me, then come out all guns blazing next season."
Fly-half Ford fully expects England star Toby Flood, who was sidelined with an ankle injury yesterday, to return for a Twickenham showdown with Harlequins on May 26 but he has already done his job for Leicester this term, having also played a starring role when they won the LV= Cup at Northampton's expense two months ago.
He added: "You want to do pre-season properly, putting weight on while also staying agile and keeping your speed up. We work really hard day in, day out at this club, and you just get on with it to try to make yourself the best you can."
Ford, son of former England defence coach Mike Ford, knows that patience must be a virtue while he learns his trade as part of a star-studded Tigers squad.
"I think Toby deserves to start in the final," he added. "He has played awesomely well since coming back from the World Cup and he deserves to play. It can get quite frustrating at times, so when opportunities come you gave got to take them.
"The start of the season was really tough at the time (Leicester lost five of their first six Premiership games), but I think looking back it was good for us, especially the younger players who had it pretty tough.
"It was a good experience for us all, and it is great now to come out on the other side of it.
"It has been pretty weird having my dad coaching teams I play against, but you have just got to get on with it. He's at Bath now, and when we play them next season he's not my dad on that day!"