Exeter and Rob Baxter’s pitchfork rebels have eyes on Premiership prize

Chiefs’ coach and his father talk of club’s beginnings and explain why this team are fired up to take the fight to Saracens in Twickenham final

For the definitive pre-final verdict the place to call is the Baxter family farm on the outskirts of Exeter. “The sky’s the limit as long as you keep your feet on the ground,” cautions the 71-year-old John, father of Rob, as he prepares to join the West Country exodus up to Twickenham for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final against Saracens. Baxter Sr, like his son, is not the type to count any Devon chickens before they hatch into fully fledged English champions.

Almost everyone else in the region, however, is going Chiefs bonkers. Every train seat to London is booked out, any spare coaches or mini-buses have been commandeered. For anyone with a rural background it is a pilgrimage to savour, perhaps the most evocative since Somerset brought scrumpy and haystack chic to one-day Lord’s cricket finals in the late 70s and early 80s.

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