Exeter warned Euro title does not give them free pass to become English kings

Rob Baxter has warned Exeter that being champions of Europe does not give them a free pass to become kings of England.

Chiefs tonight bid to become only the fourth club, after Leicester, Wasps and Saracens, to complete the Euro-Premiership double.

Team boss Baxter has attempted to move his players on from their Champions Cup triumph by asking how they “want to be remembered?”

He told them: “I am not going to stand here and tell you to work harder, and be tougher, because these are decisions you have to make.

“Do you want to turn up against Wasps and let them dictate the intensity of the game, or are you going to?

“How do you want to be feeling after the game? Will you let an 80 minutes that could define your career slip by you or are you going to stand and fight now?

“We’ve had a huge high and we all know the dangers. If we decide not to work as hard as we can in this final, Wasps will decide that they will and that will cost us the game.”

Baxter goes head to head with Wasps counterpart Lee Blackett – just as he did on his final game as a player for Chiefs against Rotherham.

“I do remember it, yes,” he said, “We won and I scored a try, didn’t I? It was an emotional day. The boots came off after that game and they never went back on, even for training.”

Another who won’t be lacing boots today is referee Wayne Barnes, who has been replaced by Craig Maxwell-Keys after a positive test for Covid.

Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Slade, Devoto, Woodburn; J Simmonds (capt), Maunder; Hepburn, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Skinner, Hill, Ewers, Kirsten, S Simmonds.

Replacements: Yeandle, Moon, Francis, Gray, Vermeulen, Hidalgo-Clyne, Steenson, Whitten.

Wasps: Minozzi; Kibirige, de Jongh, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Robson; West, Taylor, Toomaga-Allen, Launchbury (capt), Rowlands, J Willis, Young, T Willis.

Replacements: Oghre, Harris, Alo, Gaskell, Morris, Vellacott, Sopoaga, Le Bourgeois.

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