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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Skipper Salvi can lead Chiefs' charge

Exeter have tools to deal with experienced Tigers outfit

Exeter winger James Short is tackled short of the line against Leicester
1 of 1

Anglo-Welsh Cup final
BT Sport 1, 3pm

Exeter have reached the last two Anglo-Welsh Cup finals - winning one and losing one - and are the narrowest of favourites against Leicester in the tournament showpiece at the Twickenham Stoop.

They go into the showdown with a psychological advantage having done the double over the Tigers in the Premiership this season with two convincing wins - 31 -10 at home on Christmas Eve, and a hugely impressive 34-15 at Welford Road just a fortnight ago.

Just one player who started that match for the Chiefs is in the line-up - winger James Short - as emerging talent again gets its chance to shine along with a few fringe players.

Leicester include a little more experience in their side with a powerful pack and regular half-back pairing of Jono Kitto and Freddie Burns, but Exeter's young guns such as fly-half Joe Simmonds have been impressive in this tournament and should not be overawed on this stage.

Exeter won at Leicester a fortnight ago thanks to the strength of their pack and they look well equipped to hold their own again.

Aussie flanker Julian Salvi wears the captain's armband and he looks value at 5-1 to follow up his tryscoring effort in last week's semi-final win over Harlequins with another score.

Leicester reached the final thanks to an impressive performance at Saracens in their semi-final and director of rugby Aaron Mauger has promised an improved showing against the Chiefs, saying they failed to front up in the Premiership defeat.

Forward power and greater experience in the ranks told for the Tigers against Sarries but the one-point match handicap reflects how well equipped Exeter are to handle those threats and the match outcomes is incredibly tough to call.

Recommendation
J Salvi to score a try
1pt 5-1 Hills

Exeter won at Leicester a fortnight ago thanks to the strength of their pack and they look well-equipped to hold their own again
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