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Chudley wary of Saints threat


Will Chudley says Exeter Chiefs need no reminding of the threat posed by Northampton Saints in their latest Aviva Premiership encounter this Friday (3pm).

Although the Midlanders are without a win in their last three games, Jim Mallinder’s side are always a tough nut to crack on home soil and Chudley is expecting a backlash of sorts following their surprise loss at London Irish last time out.

"Going up there is very much like Sandy Park," said the scrum-half. "It’s always a great atmosphere, they have very passionate supporters and they have a great team. We know it’s going to be tough going there, it always is, but the fact that lost last week will just add to things.

"Saints are a massive threat, like a lot of teams in the division, so we need to be on song if we are to get anything at their place."

Rob Baxter’s side, however, will travel in good heart for their first game of 2016, particularly as they’ve lost only once in the league this season.

With six victories from seven starts, the Chiefs sit just two points behind defending champions Saracens at the top of the table.

Exeter’s latest success came last Saturday when Chudley himself scored two tries in their 33-17 victory over Sale Sharks at Sandy Park.

The 27-year-old back has been in scintillating form this season and is hopeful his club can not only maintain their rich vein of form at Franklin’s Gardens, but also replicate their showing at the same venue last season when they won for the first time there 24-18.

"Saturday was a good win for us," added Chudley. "We knew what Sale would bring to the game and we knew we had to match their intensity and their physicality, which is what we did. Games against Sale are never easy and sometimes it can take 60 or 70 minutes to break them down, but we got there in the end."

The win ensured the Chiefs concluded 2015 at Sandy Park with just one blot on their home copybook – that coming against Gloucester back in January – and Chudley says having such a solid base at home is key to the club’s ultimate success.

"We pride ourselves on what we do at home we want to make it hard for teams to come here," continued the former Bedford and Newcastle Falcons back. "We’ve done it a lot this year, but now we want to take it on the road as well.

"As a club it’s exciting times for us, we’re still in both competitions still and we have two big European games coming up. First, though, we have two equally big Premiership games to worry about, so we’ll take it each game as it comes."

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