Exeter Chiefs vs Wasps Gallagher Premiership final preview

Exeter Chiefs v Wasps – kick-off at 6pm, live coverage begins at 5.15pm on BT Sport 1/Ultimate
Over 12 long months after it kicked off, the marathon 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season is set to reach its thrilling conclusion as Exeter Chiefs and Wasps battle it out for the right to be crowned champions of English rugby. 

Gallagher Premiership final match officials

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (Replaces Wayne Barnes)

The 30-year-old ran the line in the semi-final between Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby at Sandy Park and now takes the whistle for the showpiece occasion in what will be his 16th match of the 2019-20 campaign.

Maxwell-Keys began officiating in 2006 and his first Gallagher Premiership match came in May 2014 at Kingston Park, where Exeter Chiefs beat Newcastle Falcons 23-13.

Assistant Referees: TBC
TMO: Rowan Kitt
Citing Commissioner: Danae Zamboulis

Gallagher Premiership final Prediction

Exeter Chiefs are on the verge of making history as they look to complete a European and Domestic double when they take on Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership Final. Wasps needed to be at their very best to have a chance, so with players missing it will be very difficult for them.

Recommended bet: Exeter by 11-15 at 5/1

Gallagher Premiership final Line-ups

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Sam Skinner, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ian Whitten

Wasps: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Dan Robson; 1 Tom West, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 5 Will Rowlands, 6 Jack Willis, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Tom Willis

Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Lima Sopoaga , 23 Michael Le Bourgeois

OPTA stats for Premiership final

  • The last six Premiership clashes between Exeter and Wasps have seen the winner alternate with Wasps recording a 46-5 victory at the Ricoh Arena in the final round of the regular season.
  • This will be the sixth Premiership game that Exeter have played at Twickenham (5th Final), their solitary victory at the venue came against Wasps in the 2016/17 final, an extra-time penalty sealing the spoils that day.
  • Exeter have reached a fifth consecutive Premiership final (W1, L3), only Leicester (9 between 2004/05-2012/13) have made it to the big dance in more consecutive seasons.
  • Wasps are searching for a fifth Premiership final victory which would see them tie with Saracens for the most titles in the playoff era; the last time they lifted the trophy was in 2007/08, prior to Exeter gaining promotion to the top flight for the first time in 2010.
  • Wasps have won 12 of their last 13 Premiership matches (L1 v Sale), averaging over five tries and 40 points per game in that time; overall this season Exeter (3.8) and Wasps (3.7) have averaged more tries per game than any other side in the league.
  • Exeter have the best goalkicking success rate (88%) in the Premiership this season, Wasps (81%) are the only other side with a success rate above 80%; individually Gareth Steenson (92%) and Joe Simmonds (89%) have the best rates in the league.
  • Stuart Hogg has averaged 86 metres gained per 80 minutes in the Premiership this season, only Semi Radradra (110) and Charles Piutau (103) have better rates; the Scotland full-back made 120 metres in the Chiefs’ semi-final win over Bath, his best tally in a match this season.
  • Dan Robson (Wasps) has had a hand in 20 tries (13 assists, 7 tries) in the Premiership this season, more than any other player, including 11 (8 assists, 3 tries) since the ‘Restart’.
  • Jack Willis has won 25 more turnovers (44) than any other player in the Premiership this season, it is the most ever recorded since Opta have collected this data (2008/09), he has won at least one in each of his 13 league appearances in 2020, averaging 2.9 per 80 minutes this calendar year.
  • Zach Kibirige (Wasps) has made more clean breaks (30) than any other player in the Premiership this season, he is also one of five players with 10 tries in this campaign (also Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds of Exeter and Louis Rees-Zammit, Luke Morahan), only Ollie Thorley and Ben Earl have more (11 each).
  • Gareth Steenson (Exeter) has scored 1,651 points in his Premiership career, six more points would see him leapfrog Nick Evans as the fourth-highest scorer in the competition’s history, that would make him the highest non-English scorer (Hodgson, Goode, Myler).

Watch Exeter Chiefs v Wasps live on BT Sport 1 HD & BT Sport Ultimate from 5.15pm on Saturday 24 October.


RANKED | The 10 highest paid people in rugby union, 2020

Keep reading to see the top 10 highest-paid people in rugby union, ranked in ascending order of earnings.

9=. ANDY FARRELL £600k (Ireland)

The first of two Farrell’s on this list, Andy received a significant pay boost when he took over from Joe Schmidt following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

highest paid people in rugby union 10

9=. DAN BIGGAR £600k (Northampton Saints)

The Welsh pivot has made the most of his big-money move from Ospreys to Northampton Saints, where he has shone consistently since joining in 2018.

highest paid people in rugby union 9

8. STEVE LUATUA £650k (Bristol Bears)

Didn’t make any friends within the All Blacks hierarchy when he decided to cash in on his extreme rugby talent, signing for Bristol in 2017. Has since signed a two-year contract extension. The All Blacks aren’t allowed by the New Zealand Rugby Union to pick exiles.

highest paid people in rugby union 8

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