Saracens vs Exeter Chiefs – Gallagher Premiership Final

It is no surprise to see two sensational sides once again competing to be crowned Gallagher Premiership champions on Saturday.

Saracens and Exeter Chiefs will again meet at Twickenham, in a repeat of last year’s final where it was Saracens who prevailed with a 27-10 victory.

In recent years, at least one of the two sides has usually made it to the final, with Exeter reaching their fourth in a row whilst Saracens are in their fifth final in the last six years.

Victory would also see Saracens retain the trophy and win the Gallagher Premiership for the fourth time in five years, but Exeter will be looking for revenge after losing to Saracens in both of their previous meetings in the final.

Both sides have been in imperious form this season, with the gap widening all the time compared to the rest of the Gallagher Premiership.
 
Exeter won 17 of their 22 league games this season, just one more than Saracens, with their 86 total points the second-highest total in Premiership history.

The two teams were again in fine form in the semi-finals as the Chiefs toppled Northampton Saints after Saracens convincingly defeated Gloucester.

In two previous meetings this season, there has been a comfortable victory for each side. The Chiefs stunned Saracens at Sandy Park in December, as they ran out 31-13 winners over their rivals.

But the reigning Gallagher Premiership Rugby champions toppled the Chiefs 38-7 in the return fixture at Allianz Park, which emphasises the need for both sides to be at their best.

Victory for Saracens would also complete a memorable 2018/19 double after they fine display to defeat Leinster to once again be the European Champions.

They will be hopeful that influential captain Brad Barritt will be available to play after he was forced off in the first half of the semi-final victory with a hamstring injury.

Director of Rugby Mark McCall says he will give Barritt every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the big one.

"To be fair to Brad we want to give him until the end of the week," said McCall.

"With a hamstring injury he obviously can't train. He does have a chance.

The Irishman added: "He'll be tested on Thursday to see where he's at and he could be ruled out then, but we might have to wait until we warm up on Saturday to see how it is.

Nick Tompkins scored a hat-trick as Barritt's replacement in the 44-19 win over the Cherry and Whites last Saturday and will start against the Chiefs if Barritt fails to recover from his injury.

However, McCall intends to give the former England international until the last minute to prove his fitness.

"We'll see, but we won't do something foolish that means Brad has to go off after one minute," he said. "That's not the situation we want to be in."

"But given who he is and the efforts he's made this year, it's fair to give him a few more days. It would be a lift to have him available."

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