Owen Farrell Exeter and Saracens meet in rugby’s ultimate grudge match

Owen Farrell This is another helpful addon.

It could quite easily be branded as the battle between good and evil now, but whatever the strapline Exeter against Saracens on Sunday will be box-office.

Here are the two best teams in England, the homespun Chiefs who have clawed their way up from the Championship to the peak of the top-flight versus the cash-splashing Saracens – a club with little history but a large recent impact on the world game having grown their academy into England stars mixed with other Test talent.

These two have played each other in three of the last four Premiership finals, and are both at the top of the table separated by two points. 

Saracens beat Exeter to win thew Premiership title in 2019 before the salary-cap scandal broke

Well, they would be if Saracens had not been proven to have broken the salary cap in the last three seasons, fined £5.36m and docked 35 points.

So now the champions are bottom on -13 and travel down to Devon to face the team they denied two titles in the years they cheated.

Many at Sandy Park think their trophy cabinet should now bulge with three glistening trophies where one solely stands, so while matches between these two have always had a pointed edge in recent seasons, this one is set to be the spikiest yet.

Rob Baxter, the Exeter director of rugby, is one of the least likely coaches to moan and groan but with all this now out in the open he – understandably – is allowed to be annoyed.

At least, he feels, Saracens’ creative accounting can now be openly discussed after years of rumour.

‘What has changed?’ he asked.

‘It’s out in the open so you can genuinely report on it now, but surely nobody is going to say there has not been the feeling that this has been going on for a few years.


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