TOP BAR - Fixtures

Lees and Exeter Chiefs desperate to double up

The season run-in is a succession of knockout games for Exeter Chiefs as they compete on two fronts and lock Mitch Lees admits he is relishing a dream first season at the club.

Currently embroiled in a nip-and-tuck battle for the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals, the Chiefs this week turn their attention back to Europe and the small matter of a European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final.

It will be the Newcastle Falcons who come to Sandy Park on Saturday night and will face a Chiefs side that have lost their last two to fall from second to fifth in the league standings.

A top-four spot is still a solitary point away, indeed the standings are so tight that Saracens in second are only three points clear meaning a home semi-final is still up for grabs.

And with European matters on the table this week, Lees admits that he and his teammates cannot afford any slip-ups between now and the end of the season.

“The top of the Premiership is very tight,” said the 26-year-old. 

“Every game can cost you a spot so we want to push and win every single one to give us the best chance of making the semis of the Prem and also in Europe.

“This weekend is a big game for the club, a quarter-final in Europe is huge.

“Our last two defeats have both been a bit unlucky, there is nothing to worry about and we are full of energy to
go out there.

“Especially at home with a night game and the Sky Sports cameras, we don’t have that very often.

“Two years on the bounce, the Chiefs trying to make it to a new cup final, this is big for the club and big for the players.”

Formerly of London Welsh, Lees has enjoyed a stellar debut season at Sandy Park, making 13 Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances.

Lees came off the bench the last time the Falcons came to Exeter in the league in February as the Chiefs handed down a 46-17 beating.

But Lees insists they will be facing a very different Falcons side on Saturday night.

“We definitely expect a reaction (to the 46-17 defeat), they are a good side,” he added. 

“But we are focusing on ourselves, pushing our standards up high so when we do run out on the pitch in the first 40 minutes we will be able to take it like we did that game, to run at them and throw our game at them rather than wait and expect something from them.

“Having a home quarter-final will be huge, especially for them it’s a far way to go. We should have close to a sell out or a sell out crowd, the fans are a big factor in how we perform on the pitch.

“Our fans are some of the best in England, they really show it at home and away.”

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

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling

Exeter Chiefs name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Ricky Pellow says Exeter Chiefs are relishing the chance to kick-off the new 2017/18 season with a big showing at…

Max Bodilly

Sale Sharks: The Next Generation

Sale Sharks can announce the first group of Junior Academy players who have been offered a five-year contract, plus a…

Sale Sharks

Gloucester Rugby confirm squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

The 12-man Gloucester Rugby squad for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s action has been named, with an exciting young…

Ollie Thorley will feature for the Cherry & Whites

Worcester Warriors get set for this weekend’s Singha 7s with Gordon Ross in charge

Worcester Warriors are looking to their experienced 7s players to make an impact in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s tournament…

Gordon Ross

Adam Radwan ready to fly for Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s action

Having lit up last season’s Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, Newcastle Falcons flyer Adam Radwan is determined to do the same…

Adam Radwan