Jack Nowell wants Exeter to keep winning run going against Saracens

19 May 2017 04:09

Exeter will face the toughest task in European club rugby on Saturday - but England star Jack Nowell cannot wait to tackle it.

Saracens, fresh from claiming a second successive European title six days ago and now seeking a hat-trick of Aviva Premiership crowns, stand between Exeter and a place in next weekend's Premiership final at Twickenham.

If Saracens topple the Chiefs at Sandy Park - and then lift silverware against Wasps or Leicester - they will become the first club since Leicester 15 years ago to complete back-to-back European and domestic trophy doubles.

Exeter, though, are unbeaten in the league since October, reeling off a record eight successive bonus point victories as they finished the 22-game regular season in second place behind Wasps.

And Chiefs wing Nowell, who will be part of the British and Irish Lions squad in New Zealand this summer, is determined to keep momentum going.

"We are happy we have Saracens at home - we've worked hard to earn that," he said.

"What they (Saracens) have done is awesome but we've been concentrating a lot on ourselves. It is not so much going out to stop someone, it's about us going out to win the game.

"We did have a taste of the final atmosphere last year (Exeter lost to Saracens) and the goal for us is to go there again, go one better and win. Every team in the Premiership is striving for that and we're no different.

"We are a lot more experienced now. We were a bit slow at the start of the season, but for us to be in this position now shows how hard we have worked.

"This year, we've put a lot more pressure on ourselves. We said 'look, we've done it once, there is no reason we can't be up there again'. But first things first, we've got a massive game this weekend. It is not going to be easy.

"Any team playing Saracens has to take their chances. They are very clinical in defence and we've talked a lot about that this week - what we need to do as a team and what Saracens are going to bring."

The longer Exeter remain in Premiership title contention, so Nowell must wait before linking up with the Lions, who depart for New Zealand on May 29

Domestic business remains his focus, however.

"Every game is an opportunity to put your hand up for the tour, but I've put that to the back of my mind," Nowell said.

"The most important thing for me at the moment is what I can do in an Exeter shirt.

"Last year was a massive boost for me as a player to be in these final games. I want to do it for Exeter and the boys I play with. It would be very selfish of me to be thinking of what's coming in the summer.

"I'm sure in their (Saracens') camp they've been talking a lot about the double double, but for us it is just another game. Like Rob (Exeter head coach Rob Baxter) always says it's in our hands at the moment, and the only people who can stop that happening are ourselves.

"The semi-finals are so open. A lot of history says that the home side normally goes through, but when you play against Saracens they can bring anything.

"Speaking to other players, it is a bit daunting to come down to Sandy Park and play sometimes, so to have that on our side is pretty cool."

Source: PA