Double can be Chiefs launchpad - Baxter

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Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter is all smiles as he addresses the media following his side's Gallagher Premiership triumph over Wasps at Twickenham. Picture: Getty Images

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, plans to use the Chiefs’ first double as the launchpad for a dynasty of success having acquired a taste for silverware.

An enthralling 19-13 victory over Wasps at Twickenham clinched a second Gallagher Premiership title for the Devonians a week after they were crowned European champions by edging French giants Racing 92 in similarly captivating circumstances.

Now seeking to emulate fellow English double winners Leicester, Wasps and Saracens by establishing an era of dominance, Exeter are determined to continue the fairy tale started 10 years ago when they reached the top flight for the first time.

When asked if toppling Wasps and Racing 92 on successive weekends is just the beginning, Baxter said: “I’d like to think so because I genuinely think that not getting to finals and not progressing will hurt us.

“It took us years and years and years to win the Premiership for the first time. We could then have said we’ve achieved everything we wanted to achieve.

“But we didn’t and now that we’ve won these two trophies, have we achieved everything we’ve wanted to? No we haven’t. There’s always something else to move on to.

“There’s another game in three weeks’ time and we want to keep moving forward. I want to see young guys come through. I want to see Joe Simmonds keep developing.We’ve got to use our drive and use our ambition and use this group of players, because they are the right age group, to drive us for four or five years.

“We need to use their desire to experience these moments as much as we can. It won’t be simple, it never is. For us it’s always been about steady progress.”

Staggeringly, the defence of their hard-won domestic crown begins in less than a month as they open the 2021-22 Premiership campaign at Harlequins on Friday, November 20.

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