Once Upon a Time….

…there was a club in the West of England that played in front of a few hundred supporters, this was 2007. They were in the local Devon league.

Then they moved to a big new stadium with ambitions to get into the Premiership. This was Sandy Park.

Rob Baxter had played for Exeter and when he retired in 2005 he took on the role of forwards coach – he also coached Exeter University (previously St Luke’s).

In 2009 he became head coach.

At the end of his first season in charge they were promoted to the Premiership – that was 2010.

In 2014 they won the LV Cup and then yesterday they became the champions of England.

The club has been built not on huge funds but on the strength of their Academy (e.g. Nowell, Cowan Dickie and Slade), astute buying (e.g. Parling and Waldrom) and top coaching led by Baxter.

It’s a fairy tale true – but one based on graft and belief not pixie dust.

The Chiefs have also had plans to redevelop Sandy Park with double the 10,000 capacity approved – there is little doubt that their brand of rugby will fill it too.

Wasps too have come through troubled times – climbing out of near bankruptcy to become a major force in the Midlands.

But there will be few neutrals who weren’t cheering for the Chiefs as extra time drew to a close.

I wrote on Friday, when I tipped Wasps to win by 5, that I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Chiefs triumphed – and I’m not.

The Chiefs are greater than the sum of their parts and are worthy of the title.

Now for Europe…


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