Mako Vunipola produced a man-of-the-match display to lead Saracens to a third Premiership title in four years but dedicated any individual accolades to his team-mates.
Saracens triumphed 27-10 over last year’s champions Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham to add to their 2015 and 2016 triumphs, with England prop Vunipola totemic once again – backing up his man-of-the-match award from the semi-final victory with another.
The 27-year-old beat three defenders and made 38 metres on 15 punishing carries, scrummaging superbly and completing 18 tackles in a tireless display.
His performance will have delighted England boss Eddie Jones ahead of the summer tour to South Africa, while brother Billy crashed over for the first try of the game and his comeback from injury looks complete.
Fly-half Owen Farrell limped off late on but said after the game that was only due to cramp and nothing could detract from prop Vunipola’s delight at reclaiming the Premiership crown.
“It was a tough shift and we expected it to be,” he said. “The Chiefs have been the best team in England for a while now and we got a few crucial tries at the end and in the first half, so we’re very glad to get away with the win there.
“We knew how good they were with ball in hand, so we knew we had to hold on to it – luckily we did and were accurate when we needed to be.
“We’ve got great generals at nine and ten who put us in the right place, so as forwards it is just nice to be on the front foot.
“I’m just lucky to have great team-mates but it has been a great journey and that’s probably what we take from the season.
“We’re very proud of where we come from and we’re just very proud to get the victory here.”
Exeter dominated the early stages but only emerged with three points before fit-again Saracens No.8 Billy Vunipola burrowed over from close-range for his first Premiership try of the season.
Winger Chris Wyles –playing his final game before retirement – then crossed to establish a 12-Saracens lead at the break and the American became the all-time top try scorer in Premiership finals with four when he went over in the corner shortly after the interval.
Another retiring Saracen, Schalk Brits, was yellow-carded and Gareth Steenson dotted down shortly after to get Chiefs within nine points but Ben Spencer’s penalty and Nathan Earle’s score in the corner sealed the deal.
Pre-match, all eyes were on Billy Vunipola and his injured hamstring but Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was ecstatic with how the England back-rower coped.
“Billy came through well,” said McCall. “To be honest, he didn’t really do anything during the week.
“When you’ve got some wear in your hamstring, the most sensible thing to do is to give it as many days as possible.
“We decided not to do anything until the warm-up today, so it was an interesting warm-up with all eyes on Billy. He came through fine and did pretty well in the game I thought!”