Final of Premier 15s: Exeter Chiefs try to beat Saracens twice-victims

Exeter players celebrate
Exeter, which finished sixth in the Premier 15s campaign of their maiden season, defeated Bristol 28-24 to reach final
Venue: Sixways Stadium, Worcester Date: Friday, June 3, Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: You can watch live on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website, and app at 14:45 BST

Rugby union fans will be able to see a brand new Premier 15s final as the Exeter Chiefs face the Saracens, the league's two-time champions.

Saracens & Harlequins have competed in all three previous finals. Sarries is seeking to regain title. losing to Quins last year.

Here are some key themes and players for Friday's match at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium.

Saracens love Exeter, but they don't rule it out.

These two sides were crowned first and second in regular season. Table-topping Saracens finished 11 points higher than Exeter, and only lost two fixtures.

But, one of those defeats was big, as Exeter at Sandy Park suffered a 54-12 loss in May.

However, the Saracens team, which included Poppy Cleall Marlie Packer and Zoe Harrison was missing key English stars. Head coach Alex Austerberry did not allow this to be used as an excuse.

He said that “we fell short of our standards” and described it as “one-off”.

Despite this, Saracens remain favourites for Friday, based on their season's overall performances and final experience. However, Exeter has more than a fighting chance, according to statistics.

The Chiefs scored more points and attempted more goals than Saracens, while conceding fewer points.

North American muscle

Although the Saracens team has a lot of English talent, this season's headline graber was American import Alev Kelter.

Although they arrived in January, the centre was quickly integrated into Saracens' lives. Austerberry describes her as an “exceptional individual and character”.

The Exeter Chiefs' foundation has been built around Kate Zackary, the USA captain. mid-season arrival of her Eagles team-mate Hope Rogers This has increased the quality of the pack.

Many Americans and Canadians are represented in the squads. It could be an exciting Saturday morning when all the North American internationals will meet at Heathrow airport in order to fly to New Zealand to represent their respective countries in the Pacific Four Series.

Wolf packs DNA

Saracens celebrate victory in 2019
In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the Saracens won and finished second in the title race. Covid-19 meant that there was no tournament in 2020.

Lotte Clapp, co-captain of Saracens, sums up the winning culture by saying that “once it gets a taste for that, it's difficult to lose it.”

The club is not for shy or quiet players.

England flanker Packer for Saracens uses the same “wolf pack”, analogy as their male counterparts.

“The mentality, drive, and desire to be the best, people challenge every day at Saracens,” she stated.

“We're very harsh on each others; that's what gets us to finals.”

Another fairy tale set in Exeter

Exeter's men were for many years the darlings rugby union in England. They rose from the Championship to become Premiership champions and European champions within a span of just ten years.

Susie Appleby's ladies seem to be eager to play another West County fairy tale in double time.

The Chiefs formed in 2019 and joined the Premier 15s in 2020-21.

They were awarded their first piece of silverware. winning the Allianz Cup in April The momentum behind the team is growing.

Appleby has spoken highly of the “coach loads” of “super-fans who are making it to Sixways in time for the final.

She refers to the club and team as part of her “Chiefs Family” and says that she has never felt anything like it in all her years as a coach and international rugby player.

The bright future of League

The average matchday attendance at three of the 10 Premier15s clubs is now more than 1,000

All three sides, Harlequins (Bristol, Exeter) and Bristol (Bristol), targeted certain fixtures to promote the season.

Although the league has issues around distribution of Red Roses talent, international quotas Interest is growing regardless of any salary caps.

BT Sport and BBC Sport broadcast the Premier 15s in this season. The next three-year cycle of bidding for spots in the league will be intense with many applicants including Leicester, London Irish, and Bath.

The league is growing with more people looking for a slice of the competition that is the envy and pride of unions all over the world.

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