Search

Rugby: Exeter ‘flying’ as Saracens visit

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 March 2018

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter (pic Simon Galloway/PA)

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter (pic Simon Galloway/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Exeter Chiefs rugby director Rob Baxter says he expects his side to be “flying along nicely again now” after losing three of their last four Aviva Premiership games.

The defending champions halted a run of defeats by beating Northampton last time out, and they face a top-of-the-table clash against Saracens at Sandy Park on Sunday.

Despite their recent barren run, Exeter are four points clear at the Premiership summit with just six games left as the play-off picture begins to take shape.

“What we have to remember is we are still top of the Premiership,” said Baxter.

“We are a little bit like an F1 car which has picked up a bit of an engine problem mid-race, but having made the odd tweak here and there, I am expecting us to be flying along nicely again now.

“The last three or four weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. There is no doubt we started the season well and we had great intensity.

“Also, we had a good pre-season, the players took on board lessons from last year where we didn’t have a great pre-season or a strong opening, this despite us going on to later win the Premiership.

“For all of us, that was a real indicator and real reminder that you can still set high standards and expect more from yourselves, even if you have been successful before that. And, as I said, a lot of what we have done this season has been good and had the intensity, focus and drive that we ask for.

“In hindsight, there was always going to be a period where that would wain a little bit, and as coaches we perhaps didn’t pick up on that as quickly as we should have.”

England number eight Sam Simmonds has recovered from a shoulder injury suffered against Wales three weeks ago, and is named among Exeter’s replacements on Sunday, while changes to Chiefs’ starting line-up include opportunities for full-back Phil Dollman, centre Henry Slade, fly-half Joe Simmonds and flanker Dave Ewers.

Lock George Kruis returns from England duty as one of only two changes for Saracens’ trip to Devon.

Kruis partners Dominic Day in the second-row, with flanker Ben Earl replacing Schalk Burger and Nick Isiekwe switching to blindside flanker.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

London Senior Cup first round: Haringey Borough 4 Beckenham Town 1

London Senior Cup first round: Harrow Borough 3 (O’Connor 5, Kearney 10, 11) Hendon (Hippolyte-Patrick 21, White 80)

08:10

Middlesex opener Sam Robson admitted to a mixture of emotions after scoring his first century of the season on day one of their County Championship Division Two match with Derbyshire.

Yesterday, 21:15

Champions League Group B: Inter Milan 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Yesterday, 19:27

Sam Robson’s first century of the season saw Middlesex get the better of the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Derbyshire at Lord’s.

Yesterday, 17:00

Centre-back Sean Cronin says Wingate & Finchley’s defenders are commited to improving their goal tally as much as their forwards, but admits it’s more imperative that they maintain a consistency with keeping clean sheets after recording their first shut-out of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Merstham.

Yesterday, 15:00

The former Netherlands international has struggled since deputising for Hugo Lloris this month

Betfred League One: Workington Town 38 London Skolars 6

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now