Saracens the team to beat for aspiring champions - Baxter


Saracens are the team that any aspiring Premiership champions must beat if they are to claim top honours for themselves, says Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter.

A second consecutive top-flight and European Champions Cup double is on the cards for Sarries after Saturday's Murrayfield triumph over Clermont Auvergne, with the Chiefs their next opponents in this weekend's play-off semi-final.

Exeter, who were beaten 34-13 by the title holders at Sandy Park this season, have home advantage and Baxter is relishing the challenge of taking on the side who defeated them 28-20 in last term's final.

"We are comfortable with the way we are playing and I am okay with facing Saracens," said Baxter in quotes reported by The Guardian.

"They are not a team I was desperate to avoid: you win things by taking people out, not avoiding them. For us, it was about getting a home semi-final, not about who we faced.

"They are the best defensive team in the Premiership and that will make it tough. There are some different things you need to do against them, but we have beaten them home and away in the past.

"We have found a way to score tries against them and it is not mission impossible. If you aspire to be Premiership champions, you have to take Saracens out. Sandy Park will be packed to the rafters and it will be another great occasion."