Jamie Roberts is backing his old club Racing 92 to win the Champions Cup on Saturday for the first time but Dylan Hartley, his co-host on the new RugbyPass Offload show, is leaning towards a first-time victory for Exeter Chiefs, an outcome that would keep the trophy in England as Saracens won it in 2019.

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The latest final is set to go ahead at Bristol’s Ashton Gate and with the weather set to dry for the 4.45pm kick-off, Roberts believes these conditions can help tip the outcome in favour of the French club where he spent two years as a player between 2013 and 2015. 

“I hope the weather’s decent, that it doesn’t become a tactical arm wrestle and a kicking game,” said Roberts on RugbyPass Offload, the new show that also has Racing’s Simon Zebo and Glasgow’s Ryan Wilson as hosts. 

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Exeter boss Rob Baxter sets the scene ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup final

“I want to see backs in space because that is what the rugby watching public deserves to see. I’m going to go Racing 20 Exeter 18.”

Ex-England skipper Hartley gave his vote to Exeter, though, suggesting they will lift the trophy with a six-point win. “Exeter 29 Racing 23,” he said. 

“I want to see a good surface, I want to see Jack Nowell, Henry Slade in the game, Sam Simmonds, Joe Simmonds doing their thing, I want all action, I want to see big scrums. I want to see pick and goes, just not a game dominated by set-piece, penalties, pick and go tries, these sort of things. 

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“You look at Racing, they have got that kind of stardust and unpredictability with Finn Russell and (Juan) Imhoff. Those moments that can change a game which can win you a cup final, but often these things are done by just doing the basics really, really well and that pragmatic kind of style.”

Roberts and Hartley, who are developing an entertaining rapport on the RugbyPass show, are both working at the final in Bristol as part of the Channel 4 live TV team. 

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