18th June 2015
... Comments

Last season's fifth-place finish in the Aviva Premiership guaranteed the Devon club would be back mixing it with the very best sides in the Northern Hemisphere during the 2015/16 season.

And following this afternoon's draw at European Professional Club Rugby headquarters in Neuchatel, Switzerland, the Chiefs have been pitted in a mouth-watering Pool Two against last season's beaten finalists ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys and Bordeaux-Begles.

"I think it's a fantastic draw for us," said Baxter. "The good thing about it is that we're facing a couple of trips that we've not experienced before, as well as going back to Clermont again.

"Obviously we've faced the Ospreys before in the LV= Cup, but both times they were here at Sandy Park, so I think that's good for not only our supporters but also the Ospreys supporters that we will get to play them up at their place.

"As for Clermont, I think everybody who went over there a couple of years ago knows how great and how special that trip was. It's a fantastic rugby city, it was a great occasion with a great atmosphere and - what you have to remember probably the most - they are widely regarded one of the best club sides in European rugby.

"Those two trips, as well as the one to Bordeaux, I know will be great matches for all of us. It's funny, I was only watching the seventh-placed game between Bordeaux and Gloucester the other week and the commentator mentioned how Bordeaux are one of the best supported clubs in France, getting crowds of like 30,000 and I thought at the time, that wouldn't be a bad trip to add to the list."

However, Baxter knows that returning to the Champions Cup will bring it's own distinct challenges and although other groups look formidable in themselves, the Chiefs coach is well aware his side will be tested to the maximum during the course of the competition.

"At this levels there are no easy games, every group will be tough," warned Baxter. "That said, we're a club that likes to take on those tough challenges and that's what we will look to do in this competition. For me, this draw is just reward for the hard work and effort that was put in by everyone last season.

"Looking at some of the other groups, I'd wouldn't say it's the worst in the world for us. However, like any competition it's vital you strive to win all your home games and then see what you can pick up on the road.

"We know from past experiences of playing in the old Heineken Cup, games at this level are incredibly tough. That said, we learnt so much as a team from the two years we had in the competition and I'm hoping that we learn more from this year as well."

About the Author

Dave B

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.

Popular Categories