European Champions Cup: Does dynasty beckon for Exeter after historic win?
Exeter had been solely promoted to the Premiership for the primary time in 2010
There was a second when Exeter head coach Rob Baxter was ready to do his post-match tv interview on the touchline at Ashton Gate.
When the tv director minimize to him, he was nonetheless turned over his shoulder, his again to the microphone, to gaze adoringly at his workforce as they posed with their first Champions Cup trophy and sprayed the sponsor’s finest.
Baxter will not be trying again for lengthy.
A lot of the build-up to the ultimate, received in nerve-jangling trend towards Parisians Racing 92, centered on his workforce’s decade-long climb from second-tier wannabes to European royalty.
However that regular rise, splintering English membership rugby’s hierarchy, has been constructed on chairman Tony Rowe’s season-by-season plans. At all times trying forward at how far nonetheless to climb, somewhat than stopping to admire the view.
Subsequent weekend, and the prospect to finish the second half of the Double within the Premiership last towards Wasps, looms massive.
However, as they journey residence again down the M5, Baxter, Rowe and the remaining would possibly already be permitting their minds to wander just a little long term.
The latest historical past of the Champions Cup has been dominated by dynasties.
Leinster received it 3 times in 4 seasons from 2009.
Toulon received three in a row from 2013. Exeter are solely too conscious of Saracens’ streak of success that included three of the previous 4 titles.
For Baxter that’s the problem. But in addition the chance.
His combine, combining sons of the south-west – seven of the beginning XV got here via the membership’s academy – with a pinch of stardust in Scotland internationals Stuart Hogg and Jonny Grey is potent stuff.
With Saracens’ previous achievements referred to as into query and their future thrown into doubt by the salary-cap scandal, Exeter are undoubtedly England’s dominant membership aspect.
Having seen off a star-studded Racing within the last and Prime 14 champions Toulouse within the semi-finals, they’ll come into subsequent season’s title defence understanding they will flip over the very best from throughout the Channel.
Off the pitch, they appear a distance away from the remaining as effectively.
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Source:: New paper 24 – Sports