TOP BAR - Fixtures

Jack Nowell enjoying Exeter evolution

The progress of Exeter Chiefs since gaining promotion to Aviva Premiership Rugby has culminated in a play-off semi-final against Wasps next Saturday but Jack Nowell isn’t satisfied yet.

Nowell’s hat-trick of tries in their final league demolishing of Harlequins helped ensure the Chiefs achieved their highest ever finish in the top flight.

It’s an astonishing achievement for a side which only ten years ago finished sixth in National League One.

Since those days the club has won the RFU Championship, the LV= Cup and competed against some of Europe’s best sides.

They’ve taken huge strides in such a short space of time but England international Nowell has said his side have the mentality to always look to the future and beyond.

“That’s the way we are as a club. Getting into the Premiership was a big thing and winning those Championship games was a big thing for the boys at the time,” said the 23-year-old.

“Then being recognised as a quality Premiership team staying in the Premiership, getting into Champions Cup and winning the LV= final because they’ve all been stepping stones for the team.

“Once we’ve got one thing we want the next thing we want to keep working for that so to be in the top six for the last few years the next thing for us was to get into the top four.

“Once we got that we wanted to go for the top two so that’s why we’re such a quality team.”

Their opponents this Saturday have won four of their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals, last being crowned champions in 2008.

Chiefs will go in to the fixture with confidence though having picked up a double over Wasps in the league, although the Coventry outfit won the Champions Cup quarter-final played between the sides.

This time there are no points up for grabs and league positions have been set. It’s a straight knockout and Nowell doesn’t want to waste the opportunity they’ve created for themselves.

“It’s a semi-final and whether you’re home or away it’s a game you must win to get into the final.

“We’ve got a big history between us especially this year and playing each other a lot has allowed us to work out each other and what each other is going to bring.

“To be here in this situation and a place to win a semi-final it would be an awful shame to let that slip.

“We’re so close. Rob Baxter and senior players like Geoff Parling have said to us we’re two games away from being champions of England and when you look at it like that it would be a shame to be so close and let it slip.”

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 28 May at Twickenham, tickets are available from premiershiprugby.com/final

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