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Exeter push for quarter-final spot

Exeter have been urged to grasp "the big prize" of a coveted European quarter-final place.

This time last year, the Chiefs were preparing for a Championship home game against Bedford. On Saturday, they will face French Top 14 high-flyers Montpellier at Stade Yves du Manoir, knowing victory would take them into the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final phase.

"We are confident in the guys," said Exeter assistant coach Ali Hepher, whose team lie two points behind Montpellier in Pool Three. "This group of players love a challenge, and if you look at the challenges they have been set all through this season and also last season, they've met every one of them head-on."

He added: "They have been to Bourgoin and won this season, so I know these guys have it in them and that they will rise to it again.

"I am sure they will put in a quality performance, with the big prize being the chance to get through to the quarter-finals of a big European competition."

Exeter show a solitary change from the side that beat Sandy Park visitors Bourgoin last weekend, with hooker Neil Clark replacing Simon Alcott in a team skippered by lock Tom Hayes.

Hepher added: "We are under no illusions about the task, but that is why the Bourgoin win was so special.

"Equally, the guys can take massive confidence from that game. We know we can win out in France, and we are fully focused on our level of performance.

"This week we've put in a couple of training sessions which have been among the best of the season, so we are pushing in the right direction."

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