Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter insists his Chiefs must continue to confront the Heineken Champions Cup with bold intent.
Victory over Sale at Sandy Park on Sunday will all but assure them of a place in the quarter-finals with two rounds to spare as they look to make an impact on European competition for the first time in the club’s history.
Sale were edged 22-20 in the first leg of the double header a week ago and Baxter insists Exeter must adopt a swagger when serving as English standard bearers on the continent. “I wouldn’t swap this for anything else,” said Baxter, who this week signed a new three-year deal to continue as Chiefs boss.
“We are well set in the pool – we have three rounds left and this weekend we can take a huge step up into where we want to go in regards of the competition. We have to be prepared to talk about it like that. The days when all I remember talking about as a coach was talking games down – we’re years past that now.
“We’ve got to be prepared as a club, team and coaching group to talk games up and this is a huge opportunity for us. We should expect to go out and perform well, it’s as simple as that!
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“Over the years we have learnt steadily – and surely – that positive pressure is good for us. This weekend’s game is a perfect example to see if Heineken Cup pressure is a positive thing for us.”
Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg has recovered from concussion and continues in an unchanged Exeter XV.
– Press Association
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