Slade urges Chiefs to rise to the occasion


Henry Slade is paying no heed to the old adage of playing the game and not the occasion as Exeter Chiefs prepare to take on Saracens in the Premiership final.

It will be the Devon club's first appearance in the showpiece and Rob Baxter's men stand on the brink of history, having beaten Wasps 34-23 in a thrilling last-four match.

Saracens are favourites as they chase a domestic and European double, but centre Slade wants his side to embrace the stage afforded to them by Saturday's game at Twickenham.

"You don't want to put the occasion to the back of your mind, because that gives you a lot of drive," the 23-year-old told the Express and Echo.

"It's the Premiership final. You win that, you're champions of England.

"You don't need much more motivation than that. We've got to the final, we've had a week to re-set ourselves, and we will go from there. The boys like a challenge.

"Over the last few seasons, we've slowly progressed and progressed. Last season we were disappointed not to get in the play-offs.

"This season, once we got ourselves in with a shout, we had our minds set on a home semi-final. We did that, and now we've got a final."

Saracens beat the Chiefs twice in the league this season, but Slade has no fear of an unwanted hat-trick.

"I know they have done the double on us this year, but we did the double on them last year," added the 23-year-old.

"We definitely know we can beat them.

"Maybe we're surprising other people, but internally there's a massive expectation and we have a lot of confidence in our ability."