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White: Pressure is off Exeter Chiefs

After lifting the LV= Cup trophy in front of the Sandy Park faithful last year, Ben White believes there will be considerably less pressure on Exeter Chiefs this time around.

The Chiefs clinched the first piece of major silverware in their 143-year history 12 months ago by seeing off Northampton Saints in front of their adoring home fans.

The result sparked jubilant scenes and they are hoping to repeat those all over again on Sunday, albeit in different surroundings.

Exeter will take on fellow Aviva Premiership Rugby title hopefuls Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens in pursuit of back-to-back LV= Cup titles.

And White believes playing in Northampton, rather than their Devon home, will allow the Chiefs to throw caution to the wind and play the running rugby that has become their trademark in recent seasons.

“When we played at home last year in the final there was a lot more pressure to win,” he said.

“This time round there’s going to be less pressure and that means we can just go out there and attack and really just enjoy the occasion.

“It’s going to be a tough game, it always is against Saracens and I’m sure it’s going to be a great game.

“We’ve got some good momentum going into this game after some good results in the cup and in the league so the boys are really up for it. The boys will give a good account of themselves so it should be a really good game.”

Exeter reached this year’s final with an impressive 30-22 semi-final win at Leicester Tigers last weekend, Elvis Taione and Fetu’u Vainikolo crossing over in quick succession before the break and Greg Bateman completing the job late on.

And White believes the youthful side that has carried them this far can complete the job on Sunday.

He added: “The highlight of the cup run for me would probably have to be last weekend’s result.

“It was a really big game for me, we played some really good rugby and our defensive work was really strong. I was pleased we could put in such a good performance against a quality side to reach the final.

“The young players have done really well during this cup run, in particular a few of the backs have come through the ranks really well. Some of the other young players that have come off the bench have settled in straight away and we’ve got a lot of ability throughout the squad.

“It’s great that the coaches have shown faith in the players that have got us to the final. I think the boys who have played in that game have really shown what they can do and everyone’s who’s played has been up to it and that’s really a reflection on how strong our squad is.”

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