Ellis Genge made an irresistible case for Lions selection by powering Leicester into the European Challenge Cup final at Welford Road.
Watched by Lions coaches Gregor Townsend and Steve Tandy, the England prop picked Tigers up when they were down and drove them to glory.
Genge’s stunning all-court display included the winning try as Leicester booked their first Twickenham final since 2013 against either Bath or Montpellier.
Watching Lions legend Sam Warburton purred: “I’d definitely have Genge in my squad for South Africa.”
George Ford was equally outstanding, kicking 18 points and ripping Ulster apart with laser cut-out passes in a one-sided second half.
Leicester had looked dead and buried at half-time, bullied mercilessly by Ulster’s forwards who bagged tries through Iain Henderson and Billy Burns.
Tigers trailed 17-6 and it needed decisive action from boss Steve Borthwick who hauled off three of his pack and demanded a reaction.
It came quickly as Jasper Wiese and Genge stunned Ulster by bulldozing over in a third quarter comeback inadvertently helped by Ulster playmaker John Cooney being knocked out cold by the flailing arm of Nemani Nadolo.
Man of the match Ford then took charge, dropping a goal and converting Guy Porter’s late try after a Nick Timoney score briefly threatened a revival.
“I’m really proud of the way we came back as we did,” said the England fly-half. “Now we want to go and finish this thing off.”
LEICESTER – Tries: Wiese, Genge, Porter. Cons: Ford 3. Pens: Ford 3. Drop: Ford.
ULSTER – Tries: Henderson, Burns, Timoney. Cons: Cooney 2, Lowry. Pen: Cooney.
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