Belfast Telegraph

Baxter looks to get off to a flyer

 

By Andrew Baldock

Exeter boss Rob Baxter wants the Chiefs to give Glasgow "some headaches" in today's European Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Glasgow arrive in Devon on the back of six successive Guinness PRO14 victories, while English champions Exeter are currently one point behind Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens.

It has all the ingredients of a classic Pool Three encounter, with Exeter knowing that an opening home victory is vital if they want to progress from a fearsome group that also includes three-time European Cup winners Leinster and French heavyweights Montpellier.

"Our focus has always been to get into the Champions Cup and hit it as hard as we can," Chiefs rugby director Baxter said.

"Glasgow look good. They've scored some really good tries, they look comfortable with what they are trying to do."

Exeter, beaten three times from four starts in previous opening European fixtures, also lost their first Premiership fixture at Gloucester six weeks ago, and Ulster-born fly-half Gareth Steenson added: "The Gloucester game was probably a bit of an eye-opener.

"It showed what it meant to the opposition to beat us, and it sharpened the mind a little bit.

"If you can get yourself out of the group in Europe, then anything can happen."

Three other English challengers are also in action today, with Leicester tackling Pool Four opponents Racing 92 in Paris, Pool One rivals Harlequins and La Rochelle meeting at the Twickenham Stoop and Bath hosting Treviso in Pool Five.

Tomorrow's Champions Cup action, meanwhile, is highlighted by an all-Premiership encounter between Northampton and Saracens, with Welsh challengers the Scarlets and Ospreys facing tough openers against Toulon and Clermont Auvergne, respectively.

Belfast Telegraph

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