This year’s Aviva Premiership final is a repeat of the 2016 final which saw Saracens take a 28-20 win against Exeter, whilst the latter will be hoping to defend the title they narrowly secured following an epic extra-time victory against Wasps last season.
What do the numbers say?
A Chiefs victory would mean they become only the fourth club after Sarries, Leicester and Wasps, to successfully defend Premiership silverware since the competition’s beginnings in 1998. The match promises to be a real clash of styles, with Saracens being known as clinical whilst Exeter have a more progressive approach to their game, though in their semi-final win against Newcastle, Chiefs controlled some 93% of possession in the second half.
Billy Vunipola is expected to be named as the Saracen’s starting XV despite only lasting the first half of the 57-33 semi-final victory over Wasps due to a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Welsh full-back Liam Williams could return for Saracens though Director of Rugby Mark McCall is not 100% confident about his participation after saying ‘”We expect him to be available to play. We’ve just got to be sensible with him. Hopefully he will be OK.’
Exeter have not yet released many details regarding their line-up but we can expect their game plan to be possession-orientated from what we’ve seen of them this season, often coming into their own in the second half of the match. In anticipation of the match, Exeter’s Director of rugby Rob Baxter said ‘”Two years ago, we lost by eight points after not starting well, and last year we came up with a win with an improved performance. I would like to think what we are aiming for is an improved performance on last year.’ Exeter will be no doubt bearing in mind that Sarries are not fresh from European action and straight into this year’s final as they were last year.
What are the odds?
- Exeter Chiefs to win 6/5
- Draw 19/1
- Saracens to win 8/11
This Saturday’s match at Twickenham will be on shown on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD with coverage starting at 2pm.