Fixtures - Top Bar

Baxter not getting ahead of himself with Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter admits he is wary about declaring any top-four ambitions this early in the season, after his side missed out on last year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals on points difference.

It was eventual-winners Saracens that progressed ahead of the Chiefs in a nail-biting climax to the 2014/15 season, but Baxter is adamant his side will not be getting ahead of themselves this term.

Exeter start their Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign at beaten finalists Bath Rugby next Saturday, and the 44-year-old is instead looking for more consistency from the Chiefs.

Eight defeats proved one too many for Exeter last year, but Baxter is hoping they can put themselves in a similar position come next May.

“You have to try and be realistic,” he said. “You have to try and extend the players, the squad and the coaching staff, but the truth is we feel we’re doing very well to be in and around the top six.

“For us to realistically sit here and talk about being a top-four side, we need to have a couple of consistent top-six finishes, getting into big semi-finals and finals.

“I’ve seen some huge development happen to us as a team and also as individuals with our involvement in various tournaments. We want more of those exciting games.

“The Premiership is very competitive at the moment, so if you’re a top-six side then you’re not going to be far off being a top-four side. That’s obviously where we want to be this year.”

LV= Cup success in 2013/14 paved the way for the likes of Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, and Luke Cowan-Dickie to show the young-guns can flourish at Exeter.

And Baxter expects more of the same this year, with young players likely to get their chance at Sandy Park alongside new international signings Geoff Parling and Michele Campagnaro later on in the season.

He added: “You don’t want to have to throw the youngsters into the first team in a big block of matches.

“They’d cope fine if they had to, and we’ll have to use that extended squad this season, but we’ll use them in ones and twos.

“I’ve been really pleased with Geoff through the World Cup. It’s not been the greatest for England, but personally I think he’s had a good tournament.

“He’s aware that we want lots from him. He’s going to have to work extremely hard and we want big numbers. He’s going to have to get stuck in, but he’ll enjoy that.

“He’s not really had many pre-season games like the others have, but he’s chomping at the bit and it’s going to be fantastic to see him training, and potentially getting our other internationals back from Tonga and Namibia as well.”

The 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby Season kicks off on 16 October. To see all of the fixtures click here.

Latest News

‘One Turf Concept’ agreed by rugby, soccer and hockey

World Rugby, FIFA and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) have developed a ground-breaking protocol for multi-surface playing fields that could…

Premiership Rugby Balls

Referee appointments: Wayne Barnes takes charge of 180th Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Wayne Barnes makes his return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action this weekend, as he takes charge of the huge…

Bath Rugby’s Semesa Rokoduguni raring to go for The Clash

Bath winger Semesa Rokoduguni is already counting down the days until his side meet with old rivals Leicester Tigers in…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport and ITV

England’s triumphant Six Nations stars will return to their Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this weekend to continue their assault on…

Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters re-sign with Harlequins

Harlequins is delighted to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd March) that Academy members Sam Aspland-Robinson and Calum Waters have committed their…

Calum Waters

George Nott Signs A Five Year Deal With Sale Sharks

George Nott has become the latest Sale Sharks player to commit his long term future to the club after signing…

George Nott

Will Hurrell: Bristol Rugby will fight until the very end

Bristol Rugby have been left to lick their wounds for almost three weeks following their disappointing defeat to Worcester Warriors…

Break came at the right time for rejuvenated Sale Sharks, says Magnus Lund

Sale Sharks’ Magnus Lund believes his teammates have taken the opportunity to clear their heads during the Aviva Premiership Rugby…

Leicester Tigers’ George McGuigan ready to kick on after Anglo-Welsh Cup triumph

Leicester Tigers hooker George McGuigan believes his side can draw on their Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over Exeter Chiefs when they…

Jonny May itching to return for Gloucester Rugby ahead of Bristol challenge

Gloucester Rugby winger Jonny May is raring to play again in club colours after featuring in three of England’s four victories in a title-winning…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that Marc Jones and Will Cliff have re-signed for Sale Sharks, both on two…

Marc Jones and Will Cliff re-sign for Sale Sharks

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Saracens have won their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, against Sale and Newcastle Falcons, to end a three game…

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Round 18 Preview: Wasps v Worcester Warriors

Wasps have lost just one of their last nine Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures: 28-34 at Sale in round 15. Wasps…

Round 18 Preview: Wasps v Worcester Warriors

Round 18 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks

Exeter Chiefs are unbeaten in the last ten rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby since their 10-13 loss at home to…

AJ MacGinty

Round 18 Preview: Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints have lost just two of their last seven Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters, both away from home, to Bath…

Freddie Burns

EPCR European Player of the Year 2017 winner to receive one million air miles courtesy of Turkish Airlines

With the high-profile quarter-final matches in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup less than a fortnight away, EPCR in conjunction…

Round 18 Preview: Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons

Harlequins have lost their last three matches at the Twickenham Stoop in all tournaments, against Edinburgh in the European Challenge…

Will Witty

Round 18 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Bristol Rugby have won just once in Aviva Premiership Rugby since the 12th round: 12-11 at home to Bath on…

Matt Scott

USA star Taufete’e commits to Warriors

Warriors have completed the permanent signing of talented USA international Joe Taufete'e. Having initially joined the Club on a short-term…

Joe-Taufete'e