Thomas ‘Excited’ By Euro Draw
10th June 2014
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The Devon club, who were among the top seeds for the new-look competition, have been pitted in Pool Two alongside French Top14 sides Bayonne and La Rochelle, as well as Rabo Prodirect12 outfit Connacht Rugby.

In what will be Exeter's fifth season in European competition, Thomas knows the challenge of tackling opposition from overseas is something that players, coaches and supporters crave at the start of each season.

"It's a great draw for us and one that I know all the boys will be excited about," said the 31-year-old. "We know Connacht are traditionally very tough to beat, especially on their own ground, whilst going over to France is never easy for any team.

"As is the case in Europe it's key that you make the most of home advantage and then see what you can pick up on the road. Looking at all three sides we've been paired with, we know that there are going to be some tough games for us."

Although the Chiefs narrowly missed out on qualification for the new-look European Champions Cup, Thomas says the revamp of both competitions means the state of European rugby is a lot more competitive and expects the new campaign to be a decent test.

"The re-jig this year I think has made both competitions a lot stronger," added the experienced scrum-half. "For us, I think we have to use the experiences of the past few years, particularly those in the Heineken Cup, to help us really attack this competition.  As a team we always like testing ourselves in Europe and whoever we come up against, we'll give it our best shot and see where it takes us."

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