Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell believes his side are the team to beat ahead of the start of the new Premiership season.
The south-west club triumphed over Wasps in extra-time 23-20 in the final last season to seal their maiden Premiership title. The new season kicks off this Friday and is set to be the most competitive yet.
“We’re the team that everyone wants to go out and beat now, winning it last year” said Nowell. “Teams are going to come down here and we’re the team that they want to take points from.
“We need to stop that but every point counts and it’s important for us not to forget that.
Nowell Knows Importance Of Good Start
The winger, who toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in the summer, acknowledges the importance of a good start.
“[We know] how important a good start to the season is. Not a lot of teams get this type of chance in this league.”
Nowell added “Last season we almost didn’t start as well as what we should have, especially coming from a final the year before [against Saracens].
“We were almost quite happy to reach the final and expected it to happen again. Halfway through the season we started realising we shouldn’t be losing.
“If we didn’t start winning we wouldn’t be in a position to win it” said Nowell.
The Chiefs will begin the defence of the Premiership crown at Kinghsolm against Gloucester on Friday.
Both Nowell and his side won’t be looking too far ahead as the prepare for a side that have made a number of changes ahead of the new campaign.
“Last year showed how tight it was, but for us it’s concentrating and focussing on Gloucester, then the week after and start building game by game.
“The boys have trained extremely hard this pre-season. We always work hard for each each other and that’s what we want to base our season on again.
Back In The Exeter Shirt
Nowell touched down four times for the Chiefs last term but is almost certain to have greater impact this season. His Lions and continued England experience will hold him in good stead.
“[I want] to get myself back fit again and focussing on whenever I get picked to play.
“I just want to be back in the Exeter shirt. It feels so long since I’ve played in an Exeter shirt, so I’m looking forward to getting it back on.
“If you can play well and get into the Exeter team, that’s how you’re going to get picked for your club and country.”
Exeter travel to Gloucester on Friday night to kick off the new Premiership season.
Aviva Premiership Round 1 – Gloucester vs Exeter, Friday 1st September, Kingsholm, 19.45
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