Fixtures - Top Bar

Baxter fixes his sights on Aviva Premiership Rugby

Exeter Chiefs have every right to bask in the afterglow of an emphatic European Rugby Challenge Cup victory but head coach Rob Baxter insists it’s business as usual upon Aviva Premiership Rugby’s return.

The Chiefs will travel to Gloucester Rugby for their first-ever European semi-final in a fortnight’s time after a 48-13 victory over Newcastle Falcons that saw many of their usual suspects rise to the occasion.

Thomas Waldrom, Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top try-scorer, was at it again – and joining him on the scoresheet was captain Dean Mumm, who is dead-set on a superb finish to the season before he departs for Australia.

However there is no rest to be had at this stage of the season and with just four Aviva Premiership Rugby games to go, the visit of Northampton Saints to Sandy Park this weekend keeps Exeter grounded in reality.

If all goes to plan the Chiefs could well appear in three finals this year – having narrowly lost their LV= Cup crown to Saracens already – and Baxter insists his side have the big-game mentality to make that a distinct possibility.

“If you want to be a good side you want to be in finals and semi-finals and finals and to have those big Premiership games coming up,” Baxter told the club website.

“Some say it makes it a tough schedule for us, but for me I’m just excited to get the boys in on Monday and keep aiming for things.

“I’ve said to them in the changing rooms, we won’t do anything different now, we’ll just get after the Northampton game as hard as we can on Sunday then we’ll re-assess and go after the Gloucester game as hard as we can the week after.

“I think if you look at where we are now, getting to the final of the LV= Cup, being at the top-end of the table and now moving through to the semi-final of a European competition, it shows throughout the course of the season so far that we have been consistent in a successful way and things are there for us to play for, which is exciting.”

The Chiefs’ Aviva Premiership Rugby form took a dent last time out, falling at the hands of Leicester Tigers who promptly leapfrogged them into fourth.

Wasps and Sale Sharks are also on the outside looking in at the moment as far as the semi-finals are concerned but nevertheless harbour realistic hopes of climbing into the top four.

And with the way the table is, Baxter concedes Exeter cannot afford to think ahead to their European date at Kinsgholm just yet.

“It’s always fantastic going to play at Kingsholm because there is always a fantastic atmosphere up there,” Baxter added. “It’s a big thing for them to play for now, especially when you look at the way you qualify for the Champions Cup with the seventh placed play-off, but it’s also very important for ourselves.

“(Northampton) in itself is a huge game for us and once we get that game out of the way, then we’ll start to worry about going to Gloucester.”

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final are selling faster than this time last year so with just four rounds to go, now's the time to click here to book your place at the world's biggest club rugby final.

Latest News

Champions Cup semi-final venues announced

BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, as well as three French stadiums – the Allianz…

Fly-half Josh Lewis signs for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to welcome fly-half Josh Lewis, who will join the Club from Ebbw Vale for the 2017/18…

Josh Lewis

Don Armand targeting big final push with Exeter Chiefs

Don Armand insists Exeter Chiefs will make the most of time off to ensure they are in fine fettle for…

Don Armand

RFU Disciplinary: Bryce Heem

Bryce Heem of Worcester Warriors will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel this evening charged with tackling the jumper in…

Gloucester Rugby respond to rumours regarding Carl Fearns

Gloucester Rugby have today responded to a story in the French press alleging that Carl Fearns will not be joining…

Kingsholm

Chew Valley champing at the bit for Twickenham outing following Bath Rugby’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Lewis Kenyon and his Chew Valley U12s team were left grinning from ear to ear after securing a spot as part…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…