Hogg winning race to be fit for European tie

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Exeter Chiefs and Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg is winning his fitness battle to be fit for Sunday's Heineken Champions Cup clash with Northampton Saints at Sandy Park. Picture: Getty Images

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs expect to enter their Champions Cup quarter-final with Northampton Saints on Sunday at Sandy Park (5:30pm) with no fresh injury concerns.

That was the assessment of Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, who gave a positive update on Scottish international Stuart Hogg in the wake of his side's 40-17 loss at Saracens.

Full-back Hogg was taken off as a precaution in Exeter's recent 35-22 home win over Gloucester with a hip injury and, like many of the club's other frontline stars, he was not risked for last Sunday's Gallagher Premiership trip to Allianz Park

Instead, Baxter opted for a youthful line-up, which included eight players in their starting line-up making their first-ever Premiership starts, against the defending league champions.

Post-game, Baxter gave a positive update on Hogg, saying: “Stuart should be fine. He was running yesterday (Saturday) before we left Exeter. It wasn’t flat out but the fact he’s running already means he should be running by Tuesday or Wednesday.”

In recent days, Baxter has also seen Stuart Townsend and Olly Woodburn also return to training after picking up injuries sustained since rugby restarted last month.

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