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Preview: Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

Preview: Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs hooker Jack Yeandle insists the Allianz Park’s Aviva Premiership christening will be no distraction as his side go in search of a first-ever league double over Saracens.

The Chiefs were victorious against Sarries at Sandy Park back in September but have struggled on their travels this season, with only one away victory in the league all season.

Saracens’ eight-game winning run came to an end last weekend against London Irish but with the Sky Sports cameras in town at Allianz Park for the first-ever artificial pitch in the Aviva Premiership’s history they will be itching to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans.

But Yeandle is confident that he and his Chiefs teammates are focused purely on the job in hand as they bid to end their away-day hoodoo.

“Allianz Park is obviously a new stadium and it looks like a great place to play rugby,” he said.

“Obviously it is a new pitch as well which they have played on but we have analysed them well and looked at how to attack and defend them.

“It is a completely new surface so we haven’t experienced it before but we have a 3G pitch here we use quite often so we know what to expect but we’ll have to see.

“With the international break they could be somewhere close to full strength and we won’t be preparing for anything less. They have a strong squad but we believe we can go there and win.”

Sarries have not lost a home game in Aviva Premiership rugby since Harlequins visited Wembley Stadium in March last year while the Chiefs' only win in their last eight encounters in all competitions was 28-19 at home to Northampton Saints in the LV=Cup at the start of this month.

But while all indicators suggest a home win, Saracens hooker Jamie George admits he is relishing getting to grips with the new surface.

“You get less fatigue in your legs and I think it’s going to speed up the game. You actually get a lot more traction when you’re scrummaging,” he said.

“Obviously there has been a lot said about scrums going down and that sort of thing and I think this might be the answer.

“I hope it catches on. You play on some pitches and you go away to some places and you are playing in a swamp and that will never happen at Allianz Park because the pitch always stays the same. It might be wet but you still get a lot of traction.” 

(Allianz Park, 3pm)
Referee: Martin Fox (84th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Stuart Terheege. TMO: Geoff Warren.
Live on Sky Sports HD

For more news, try out Exeter Chiefs Match Preview Saracens
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