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Ben Foden believes his form has improved over the last four or five weeks

Ben Foden believes his form has improved over the last four or five weeks

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ben Foden believes his form has improved over the last four or five weeks

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 6 Nations and ultimately cost him his dream of representing the British and Irish Lions.

"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," he said. "But I will forgive it all if we can go and win a Premiership title at the end of it."

He added: "There is always a point to prove. I feel my form has come on leaps and bounds over the last four or five weeks and hopefully I can do some damage out in Argentina with England and start to re-write the headlines. That starts with a big performance this weekend against a very good Leicester side."

If Foden's season has been rocky, Northampton's journey to their first Premiership final has been Himalayan, reaching Twickenham after five semi-final defeats.

Two years ago, Jim Mallinder's side were 16 points up on Leinster in the Heineken Cup final and dreaming of a second European title - only for the carpet to be pulled from under them in savage fashion.

Foden concedes that only now, with a Twickenham appearance to come, have Northampton got themselves back on an even keel following that defeat.

"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," Foden said.

"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 echoed around at half-time and we kept up the intensity for 80 minutes."