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The captain of Exeter Chiefs, Gareth Steenson is enjoying a “new challenge” And the challenge is starting the season of Aviva Premiership as a defending champion.


The pulsating victory of Chiefs’ Premiership final over Wasps in May at Twickenham saw them having a remarkable rise and it is from the lower divisions of English rugby to reaching at the peak.

But when Exeter launches their league campaign on September 1st opposite the West Country rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm under the floodlights of the Friday night.

Steenson the Fly-half of the team extra-time penalty preserved the glory of the title for Exeter and in the squad of last season; they retained the awesome majority, while adding players like Matt Kvesicflanker and Nic Whitescrum-half.

Steenson on the occasion said, “For us, this truly a brand new experience. Our performance in Europe was not that well, and this something that we will talk about for sure.”

He further added that, “Probably now, we are not the second favorite team of everyone any more. Now, we are no more a plucky underdog, and this is a completely new thing for us.”

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Exeter Rugby Club popularly called Exeter Chiefs ultimately became the champions for the first time in their 146-year history after Gareth Steensonbagged a penalty in extra time which led to their 23-20 victory over Wasps at Twickenham.


It was one of the most interesting finals ever played in years as the both teams were willing to attack at every chance, nevertheless the nerves were visible enough with dropped balls and wide passes.

Exeter Chiefs who were promoted to the Premiership in the year 2010, started scoring from 13th minute of the match as Jack Nowell cut inside from a lineout and sped over to score.

It was a wise step from Exeter Chiefs who looked focused to set up their famous driving maul, but hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie ran around after throwing in the ball and then released Nowell coming in at pace on the switch. Steenson added the extras.

Wasps got on the scoreboard several minutes later after they massively attacked but came to an end when James Haskell knocked on, but referee JP Doyle was playing advantage and Jimmy Gopperth kicked over the penalty.

The Chiefs’ second try took place in the 29th minute and also came off the set-piece: this time the scrum as Ollie Devoto smashed through the midfield preceding the wonderful offload to Phil Dollman who dived over, with Steenson converting.

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Rob Baxter the head coach of Exeter Chiefs says the players in his team deserve off on their upcoming weekend to celebrate.


The off should be given to them to let them celebrate the achievement they have made so far whether big or small in this season.

Second in the Premiership, the Devon side, stumbled to a bonus-point wins over Sale.

He said, “The team haven’t had an off since the beginning of the season, the very first week of the season. It is not 30 weekends have passed, the team has not got any off.”

Moreover, their 18 league games that the team Baxter have competed in the European Champions Cup (ECC). After winning the matches the team has reached the final of Anglo-Welsh Cup.

“Now, after so much of games, the team needs a bit of time for just enjoying and relaxing. Because, the team has had some good results and all the players by showing great spirit on the ground, but, they have not got the time to celebrate their success up to now.”

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The Anglo-Welsh cup has already gotten to the round three stage and on Saturday, Wasps will face Exeter Chiefs at the Sandy Park on away.


In their ranks, they would be travelling with a mix of experience and talent. In the opening two rounds. Wasps have emerged not quite unscathed, with one win to their name, and a loss as well.

For the Exeter Chiefs, they seem a more formidable team as the last two seasons of the competition has seen them emerge as winners and runners up.

The starting Xv will feature players such as Nick De Luca, a 43 Cap Scotland International who would also serve as the captain of the side. Others such as Brendan Macken, Guy Armitage, Tom Bristow, Craig Hampson. Alex Rieder, Marcus Garratt and Will Rowlands would make up the starting XV.

For some of the Academy players, the game would give them a big opportunity to rouse interest as they are poised to start in the game. Some of them include Jacob Umaga, Piers O’Conor, Jack Willis, Tom Howe and Will Stuart.

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After moving from Bath earlier this month, Niko Matawalu has said that he is settling quite well at the Exeter Chiefs.


With the end of the autumn internationals, the Fijian back is currently enjoying his first week with the club.

Matawalu reiterated that his reason for moving to the club was to play rugby and so far, he has enjoyed all he has seen in the club. Speaking, Matawalu said,

“It’s so far so good,”

“I really like the environment, the boys and the coaches. I needed to play some rugby and that’s why I decided to move to Exeter.”

“I’m just back from the autumn tour and joined the boys this week and it seems to be going well.”

Matawalu also mentioned how he and the head coach at Exeter, Rob Baxter had talked about their goals for the season just before he made the move to Exeter from Bath.

And with Exeter hoping to gain another top-four finish which would become their second successive, Matawalu is looking forward to the challenge. The Fijian back had said,

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The Exeter Chiefs are in celebration mood and they have every reason to do so.

They did reach the finals of the Premiership and were being compared with Leicester City in their accomplishments. Many even stated that Exeter rugby team is what Leicester City is to football. They might be on the verge of winning the English title. The Premiership finals were held on 28th May where Exeter Chiefs were set to play against Saracens.

Though this game finally saw Saracens winning it was brilliantly executed by Exeter as well. They were able to score about 17 points that were unanswered by Saracens. Though the result of the game was their defeat, the team did play brilliantly. The main takeaway for the Rob Baxter as the first team coach is that they should have held it together at the beginning.

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