Sale Sharks have been warned that trips to the AJ Bell Stadium bring out the best in Exeter Chiefs as the English rivals step-up their pursuit of a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final.


The Gallagher Premiership title contenders clash on Sunday with the Chiefs travelling north as the nation’s standard bearers in the competition after posting bonus-point wins against La Rochelle and Glasgow.

Sale lost their Pool Two opener against the Warriors but will be confident of putting a dent in Exeter’s knockout ambitions – despite the Chiefs’ director of rugby Rob Baxter sounding a note of defiance.

“It’s often a place that brings the best out of us. We’ve had some tough games up there, ones that we’ve won and others that we’ve lost,” Baxter said.

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“But when I think of those games that we’ve won, a lot of our success has come from the attitude and the desire – particularly in defence – that we’ve been able to show.

“Sale are a good, attacking side and they have an ability to come at you in a variety of different ways.


“They can score tries which a lot of other teams cannot do, so it’s going to be down to us to make sure we have our defensive systems in place from the off.

“It’ll be a great challenge, as it always is when you go to Sale, but we’ve been there before and we’ve won there before.

“With the excitement of it being a Heineken Cup game, I’d like to see us go there and put in one of those big Exeter Chiefs-type performances.”

Even in round three Gloucester’s showdown with Connacht has the look of a dead rubber, while Pool Five’s other two teams Toulouse and Montpellier battle it out for top spot.


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