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Preview: Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs

Preview: Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs

Exeter prop Chris Budgen insists he and his teammates have got their targets firmly set on a top-four finish this season and so much the better if that means putting one over his former employers Northampton on Sunday.

Budgen and co made a flying start to their Aviva Premiership campaign last weekend with a 43-6 triumph over Sale.

But the 39-year-old, who played for the Saints from 2001 to 2008, knows the Chiefs will have their work cut out for them at Franklin’s Gardens where they have yet to taste victory in three attempts.

However Rob Baxter’s men are no slouches away from Sandy Park, winning four of their last five on foreign territory, and Budgen is desperate for his side to continue their winning momentum on Sunday.

“It is always nice to play against Northampton – it is a proper rugby town with a great surrounding and atmosphere,” he said.

“I always look forward to it obviously with it being my former club, it is always nice to go back to your old stomping ground.

“I scored two tries against them a couple of seasons ago and it is always nice and pretty special to score against your former employers.

“But that is the important thing, all that matters there is following up our good opening win and really push forward into the top four.”

Saints, for their part, are also looking to build on their opening-day success after clinging on at Kingsholm to take down Gloucester 24-19.

With five wins in their last six at Franklin’s Gardens confidence is understandably high around the squad but prop Alex Waller insists that will not translate into complacency when the Chiefs come to town.

“Exeter are a very strong side who ran us very close last season in the push for fourth so we know all about them,” he said.

“They are very strong and we will have to be at our best if we want to handle them.

“They had a big win on the first day of the season but it’s early days so you never know how it’s going to turn out when the whistle goes.” 

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