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McGuigan: Exeter Chiefs doing it for the fans

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Byron McGuigan admits Exeter Chiefs are benefitting from phenomenal support both home and away after starting the defence of their LV= Cup with a bang.

Rob Baxter’s men are well set in every competition this season – within touching distance of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top four and a place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals already in the bag.

A berth in the LV= Cup semi-finals is also secured after their thrilling 37-32 win at Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend.

Sealing home advantage for the last-four clash is now on the agenda ahead of their final Pool 4 game with Saracens, but McGuigan says the Sandy Park faithful make themselves heard wherever they play.

“The travelling support is always awesome when you’re playing for Exeter,” said utility back McGuigan. “A couple of games now have stood out and it really makes a difference away from home.

“Afterwards the fans stick around and say ‘well played’ to all the players, it’s really awesome and a great little family environment.

“We’re a team who want to win trophies, for us and the fans, so in the LV= Cup we obviously want to do really, really well and hold the trophy again.

“But every game for us is a big one as we want to do well in every competition across the board, and we’re in a good place to be able to do that at the moment.

“It will be good to get another win in the LV= Cup for all the boys, firstly to back up the three wins we have already and a home semi-final would be awesome.

“We’ve got the European quarter-final at home so it will put us in a good place; being fifth in the Premiership and a home semi-final in the LV and quarter-final of the Europeans.”

The trip to Saracens will certainly prove a tough test for the Chiefs, with the London side needing a victory to guarantee a semi-final spot of their own.

And as Exeter’s new school do their famed academy proud on the LV= Cup stage again this season, McGuigan is backing the club’s youngsters to take the side to the next level in the near future.

He added: “The hard work is put in here by the boys every week and we know the incentives of putting in big performances like this weekend which is needed for the club, and for the fans too.

“Some of the younger boys who played last week hadn’t played for a while so it was awesome for them to step in and do so well. Who knows, maybe in Aviva Premiership Rugby a few of them have put up their hand up to earn selection?

“The academy here is really good. The 18-year-olds who come in are really talented, very advanced compared to other places I’ve been before, and I think the future’s pretty bright here.”

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.
 

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