Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has denied that his side are “missing” their rivalry with old foes Saracens after their unbeaten start to the Gallagher Premiership season.
Baxter’s side have won their opening four games of the domestic season, winning each game by an average of 24 points.
Their bitter rivals in recent seasons, Saracens, were relegated to the RFU Championship after breaching the salary cap of the Premiership, and have yet to play a game in the 2020/21 season.
📢 – @ExeterChiefs DoR Rob Baxter has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. A fantastic achievement for the guiding light of the club for a great many years ⬇️https://t.co/Yalo2vP9zz pic.twitter.com/5C7QjVKLAy
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) December 30, 2020
While both Exeter and Saracens savoured encounters with one another, the Chiefs boss isn’t yet yearning for another crack at the north London side.
“Missing them? I wouldn’t think so. We look at a lot of clubs who are developing. Wasps are developing very quickly.
“If you look at the top end of the table we ourselves haven’t played Bristol who are towards the top end of the table, we haven’t played Sale who as we know are always a challenge.
“We have got some clubs that we haven’t yet played. We haven’t played Newcastle yet and they are having a flying start to the season. We’ve got some challenges from clubs that we haven’t played yet this year,” Baxter told RugbyPass.
‘The challenges will be thick and fast’
While the European Champions have experienced quite a comfortable start to the season, Baxter was confident that his side would be pushed to their limits by other English opposition.
“The challenges will be thick and fast and they will be coming. I don’t think to say Saracens not being there removes the challenges. There is an awful lot of good teams in the Premiership.
“They have always been a challenge to us in the past and they will continue to be a challenge as there are international players scattered all through the league and on any given day the best thing about the Premiership is that teams can genuinely beat each other and that is what makes it great.
“Hopefully once the vaccines get rolled out and we get through this next two, three-month period what will reignite the Premiership is that really emotional, energetic experiences when we supporters back in,” Baxter said.
Baxter, who won the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup with Exeter last season, was awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours list, while captain Joe Simmons was given an MBE.