Saracens - Match Preview: Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens

Feb 02, 2018

Match Preview: Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens

Saracens travel to Sandy Park as they take on Exeter in the final round of this season's Anglo-Welsh Cup Pool Stage.

The Men in Black know that only a win will be enough to see them top the group and secure the only qualification spot for the Semi-Finals. Exeter also need a win to top their group but it will have to be a bonus-point win to stand any chance of getting above Wasps.

Sarries, captained by Kieran Longbottom, boast a mixture of youth and experience with Mark Flanagan and 18-times-capped Australia international Will Skelton in the second-row.

Oli Morris also keeps his place on the wing after an impressive debut performance in the 40-21 win over the Dragons alongside the man of the match from that game, Rotimi Segun.

The Chiefs boast a strong back-line with England international Ollie Devoto starting at inside-centre and 24-year-old Argentina international Santiago Cordero playing on the wing.

The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday and you can catch live match commentary on the Saracens twitter account (@saracens) or using the hashtag #sarrieslive. Live commentary will also be available on BBC Radio Devon via the BBC website.

Academy coach, Adam Powell and captain Kieran Longbottom spoke exclusively to ahead of the game:

Adam Powell:

"In the two previous Anglo-Welsh Cup games we showed in patches some really good form and that we're capable of playing some really good rugby.

"I think against the Dragons we played really well and to a really standard of rugby. Last weekend we got the rewards by tries when we were on top. We're happy with the performance and happy with the intent the lads showed, we're happy with the desire to improve and get better in the game.

"There's obviously some things we can work on and we've been working hard this week so hopefully on Saturday against Exeter we can show it on the field.

"We expect a big challenge against them but to be honest I'm not too concerned about Exeter. I'd rather we prepare as well as we possibly can and then play as well as we possibly can rather than overly worry about Exeter."

Kieran Longbottom:

"We did put together a good team performance but the most exciting thing is that we have a long way to improve, we've got quite a high ceiling as to where we can get to as a team.

"It's great seeing these young lads who have a real flair for the game, they're guys who've got really good instincts and are able to play the game with a bit of flair. They're also able to follow the systems that we have here at Sarries."

"You see guys who are a product of the environment having brought through the academy. They're brought through the system but are able to play in a way which benefits the natural gifts they've got."

"I'm expecting a massive battle up front, I know they've got a very good forward pack. We played against them in the 'A' League with a young team and lost so it'll be good to go down there to go and try to get one back."

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