TOP BAR - Fixtures

Rob Baxter reacts to Champions Cup draw

Rob Baxter reacts to Champions Cup draw

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter is expecting another "exciting" European Champions Cup campaign after his side were pitted against familiar foes in Pool 5 of this season’s tournament.

For a second successive season, the Devon club will again lock horns with French Top 14 rivals Bordeaux-Begles and ASM Clermont Auverge, as well as Pro 12 opponents Ulster Rugby following Wednesday's eagerly anticipated draw in Switzerland.
 
Drawn as one of the five Tier One clubs, the Chiefs will be hoping to replicate their fortunes of last term when they advanced through the pool stages past Bordeaux-Begles, ASM Clermont Auverge and the Ospreys to set up a first-ever appearance in the last eight of Europe's top cup competition against Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps.
 
The Chiefs exited at the quarter-final stage when Jimmy Gopperth landed a last-gasp conversion to seal a 25-24 victory, but Exeter claimed their revenge just a few weeks later as they defeated their rivals in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals at Sandy Park.
 
Commenting on the draw from the club's warm weather training camp in Portugal, Baxter said: "It's another great draw for us and one that I think we're really excited about.

"Obviously we know Bordeaux and Clermont very well having played them last season in Europe, whilst Ulster are not going to be an unknown quantity either as we're due to play them in pre-season.
 
"As you would expect being in the Champions Cup is always going to throw up some tough challenges, but as a club that's why we kind of thrive off.

"Each year you want to be playing in the top competitions, against the top clubs and against the very best players and that is what you get with the Champions Cup."
 
He added: "I've no doubt our supporters will be equally as excited about the games we have got.

"We've been to Clermont twice in the past and experienced a brilliant atmosphere over there, Bordeaux was an equally good experience last season and when we went to Ulster a few seasons ago for a pre-season game, that too was a great game against what was a very strong side that night."
 
The Champions Cup campaign will kick-off for the Chiefs over the weekend of October 14-16, with the main final taking place this year at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Saturday, May 13.

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