Planet Rugby

Baxter relishes Clermont challenge

11th January 2013 07:10


Rob Baxter Exeter Chiefs 2012

Rob Baxter: Wants to maximise the experience

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter knows a huge task awaits his side when they face Clermont in Saturday's Heineken Cup tie at Stade Marcel Michelin.

Clermont claimed their 53rd successive home win when they beat Montpellier 36-18 in a Top 14 clash last weekend.

Vern Cotter's troops are also unbeaten in Pool Five, and head the table with 18 points from four matches, while the Chiefs are in third place with nine points after the same number of games.

But Baxter believes the size of the task will bring out the best in his players who have relished previous away matches against French opposition in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

"It's a fantastic challenge," he told the ERC website.

"Big parts of Clermont's game are very good and they've got an exceptional squad. It's a nice test and one we will look forward to and we will enjoy our time away together.

"If there's anywhere that's a real test to go it is to Clermont - it is 53 games on the bounce they've won at home now. It's just the environment you want to go into if you want to test yourself.

"The atmosphere and the challenges have seemed to bring the best out of us a number of times but this is the toughest of all of them.

"We manage to make them one-off games. We don't see it as a part of the season we have to get on with, we really go for them and enjoy them.

"We talk a lot about maximising the experience, both as a team and as an individual player. That's served us very well."

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