Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Mumm targets Exeter silverware

Dean Mumm says he has always believed that Exeter are a team "capable of doing special things".

And the Chiefs will strengthen Mumm's theory if they defeat European Challenge Cup semi-final opponents Gloucester in an all-Aviva Premiership clash at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Exeter are currently battling on domestic and European fronts, having put themselves in a title play-off position with three league games left and standing one win away from reaching the Challenge Cup final on May 1.

"It is really exciting that we have put ourselves in this position to play in such big games," said Exeter captain Mumm, who will leave Sandy Park and return to Australia at the end of this season.

"I am not surprised we are here because I have always believed we are a team capable of doing special things.

"What the fans see every weekend is a result of all the hard work that the players put in day in, day out. That is what I get to see every single day, and why I know that if we play to our potential we are capable of getting some big results.

"I would love to be in a team that wins competitions, and with this team it is all about doing things we haven't done before.

"We will tick one box this weekend by playing in our first European semi-final, but we want more than that.

"Mental preparation is massive for us. The cultural aspect of any team drives you on beyond the physical performance, and the way we approach all our games is vitally important."

Exeter make one enforced change to the side that accounted for Premiership leaders Northampton five days ago, with Kai Horstmann replacing flanker Ben White, who suffered a bang to the head during that 21-10 success.

Gloucester, meanwhile, switch wing Charlie Sharples to full-back, with Jonny May and Henry Purdy on the wings. Flanker Matt Kvesic returns to the pack and lock Mariano Galarza replaces Tom Palmer.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said: "We've put in some big performances away from home this season, and now we have to back it up and show we are not afraid to go out and win the game.

"The established clubs within the Premiership aim for these games year in, year out, so therefore we have to make the most of these opportunities.

"I look at it that if you work this hard to get to this stage, then go out and make the most of it."

Gloucester make their first European semi-final appearance for nine years, giving themselves a chance of silverware following a disappointing Premiership campaign.

"We have got to keep believing," Gloucester skipper Billy Twelvetrees said.

"We have to capitalise when the momentum is with us and be ruthless. When it is not, we have to control the game and weather the storm.

"There could be no bigger game for us this weekend, at home in a European semi-final, and we are in a good place physically and mentally.

"We have gone well in Europe, we have enjoyed the tournament and we will be raring to go. I cannot wait for it."


From Belfast Telegraph