Tigers vs Harlequins in Premiership Rugby final

Gary Fitzgerald
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Ben Youngs badly wants to reclaim the No. 9 jersey for England's clash against the Springboks on June 9

Ben Youngs (pictured in 2011) faces a massive personal duel with Harlequins and England rival Danny Care in the Premiership final on Saturday keen to prove himself the No.1 scrum-half in English rugby

Ben Youngs faces a massive personal duel with Harlequins and England rival Danny Care in the Premiership final Saturday keen to prove himself the No.1 scrum-half in English rugby.

The Leicester Tigers' youngster realises just how much it means to come out on top in his battle at Twickenham against an opponent anxious for redemption and eager to get back into England coach Stuart Lancaster's good books.

Both Youngs, who was dropped from England's starting line up for Lee Dickson during the Six Nations, and Care, who was dumped by his country for the tournament following a string of late night drinking bust-ups, were named in the squad for the tour to South Africa.

And both badly want to reclaim the No.9 jersey for the opening clash of their three-Test campaign with the Springboks in Durban on June 9.

"This is a great opportunity in a big final to lay down a marker and say 'pick me'," Young said.

"I definitely want to start the first Test. Stuart Lancaster will have to decide who he is going with but I want to give him a selection headache and something to think about.

"Losing the shirt during the Six Nations wasn't nice. I want to play every game and it was a relief to come on against Ireland and change things and prove to myself I could do a lot better.

"Danny Care is a great player. He's had a bit of a torrid time but everything Quins do well comes through Danny.

"I have to do my best to nullify him and his game. Likewise he will be out to try and get on top of me. He will try and get hold of me at breakdowns and upset me but I don't intend to let him."

Youngs endured a rough ride during the opening four or five months to the season. But, just like the rest of his team-mates, he is certainly finishing with a flourish.

Tigers managed to overcome a nightmare opening couple of months without their international stars to set up a shoot-out with a Quins side which defied their critics to remain at the top of the table until the end.

It promises to be a contest mixed with attacking rugby and raw power.

Tigers - the most successful English club side since the League was introduced, reached an amazing eighth successive final shoot-out by beating Saracens in their play-off semi-final.

Quins, searching for their first title, overcame Northampton with a late Joe Marler try and it will be a unique experience to fight it out for the trophy over 80 minutes at the home of English rugby.

"After losing our first five games and being right near the bottom of the table winning this time would possibly our greatest achievement," Youngs said.

"People were rubbing their hands and happy to see us doing poorly. Even some other England lads were openly saying they were pleased we had lost again.

"But once all the England guys came back from the World Cup we all had a meeting and decided to rebuild our season and start winning.

"Teams love to beat Leicester and were coming to Welford Road believing they were in with a shout. So we had to stop that. We did and now we can lift the Premiership."