EXETER CHIEFS Baxter taking nothing for granted

exeter ChiefslogoRob Baxter says Exeter Chiefs will be taking nothing for granted when the defending champions lock horns with Harlequins in today’s Premiership Final at Twickenham (1730).

For a sixth successive season, Devon’s finest will head to the capital in a bid to land English Rugby’s top prize.

After the toughest of seasons, one in which Covid has again played a huge part - and teams have been hampered by lengthy international call-ups, the Chiefs are back where they want to be, just one game away from creating yet another memorable chapter in the club’s history books.

Victory for the Chiefs would not only ensure them of a third title in five years but, more importantly, it would seal back-to-back crowns - a phenomenal achievement in itself given the relentless nature of the top-flight.

Quins underlined their own ambitions by going to Ashton Gate last week and overcoming a 28-0 deficit to beat Bristol 43-36 in extra time while Chiefs overcame obdurate Sale 40-30 at Sandy Park.

Exeter director of rugby Baxter says: “Once you get over those first few days of giddiness about getting to the final, it’s then that you start to lock things down and focus on making sure you give yourself the best chance to go out and win the game."

Harlequins have produced a Lazarus-like revival to their season following the departure of former head coach Paul Gustard in January.

Baxter says: “You look at their players and you can see they look comfortable, they look as though they are enjoying the way they play, and they are playing with smiles on their faces. When you get a team like that, it makes them dangerous.

“You have to be a fool not to notice what Quins did last week. Bristol have been a good team this season and have beaten most sides, including us, yet Quins made them look pretty ordinary for a good chunk of that game.

"We have to make sure we don’t ever look ordinary in the game and that means focusing on being the best versions of ourselves we can be."

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