Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter says he is looking forward to the challenge of the Heineken Cup this year.

This season will be the second time that the Chiefs have played in Rugby's elite competition, having played the likes of former champions Leinster and last season's runners-up Clermont Auvergne.

The West Country side finished sixth in the Aviva Premiership last season to qualify and they have been put into another tough group. They will face reigning champions Toulon, Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets.

It has certainly be a remarkable rise for the Devon club, from gaining promotion to the Premiership and now playing  some of the biggest teams in club rugby. Baxter is looking forward to it all starting again.

"They’re great fixtures and it’s a great reward for our supporters because they’ve supported us for a long time and they’re getting to see some fantastic games now. It’s all part of the on-going strategy of the club," he was quoted by the club's official website.

“Playing in the Heineken Cup, with the group that we’ve got, is going to be another fantastic challenge. It’ll be tough but we’ll be a better team because of it, I’m very confident of that. I said the same last year: we had a very tough Heineken Cup group but we were a better Premiership team in the second half of the season because of our experiences in Europe.

“We didn’t run away from that challenge, we weren’t scared of it, we faced it full on. We had some really tough games but we learnt a few lessons and we brought the things we’d learnt back into the Premiership. That’s exactly what we’ll do again," he added.

Exeter finished third in the group last season, and will be looking to go one better and qualify for the knock out rounds. 

The Chiefs begin their campaign at home to Cardiff Blues on Sunday on the back of two straight win in the league, including a 29-12 victory over Gloucester last weekend.

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