After losing out on a top four finish through points’ difference last season, the ever progressing Exeter Chiefs seem to be on the verge of creating something special down at Sandy Park.
Following their hard-fought win against Harlequins this weekend, here are five reasons why RUCK believe the club have what it takes to finish in one of those top-four births this season:
1) Rob Baxter
Baxter is nothing short of a club legend at the Chiefs; after serving the club as a player for 14 years, including ten as captain, he led his side to promotion in his first year as Head Coach. The 44-year-old encourages a rugged and energetic style that has produced results, and he and the Chiefs faithful will be hoping this could be the year they finally break into the top four under his loyal guidance.
2) Youthful exuberance
The Chiefs are blessed with a group of the most talented youngsters in the Aviva Premiership at the moment with Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie, who are all still aged 22, having already made an impact on the international stage. If they, among others, continue to develop and grow as players this team will only continue to improve.
3) Overseas influx
Exeter Chiefs have begun mixing their potent English talent with notable overseas additions with Wallaby Julian Salvi joining from Leicester while Italian superstar Michele Campagnaro, despite his tender age, has also added extra quality to their ranks.
4) Licence to thrill
The Chiefs have a spectacular array if back-line players, who have been given the freedom by Baxter to express themselves so far thus. England international Geoff Parking meanwhile leads the charge up front, giving their flair players an ideal base to play off.
Other than their foreign signings, Baxter has also hunted high and low for the best players across the country to improve his every-progressing squad. This summer’s recruitment has been especially praised with England regular Geoff Parling, former Super League champion Josh Jones and youngster Olly Woodburn already having positive impacts on the starting XV. They could supply that extra bit of quality that is required for Exeter to push into the top four.