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Cup Final preview: Tigers versus Chiefs

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Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs meet in the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final on Sunday with both sides boasting an impressive record in tournament history.

The Chiefs run out at The Twickenham Stoop this weekend in their third successive Anglo-Welsh final, while Tigers are the only team to lift the silverware twice – against Ospreys in 2007 and against Northampton Saints in 2012. Click here to relive the details of the last Cup Final win, played at Worcester’s Sixways home five years ago.
Both teams have won four out of five fixtures in this year’s tournament, with Tigers beating Bath, Newport Gwent Dragons and Saints in the pool stages before toppling 2015 winners Saracens in the semi-final. Chiefs have beaten Wasps, Bristol, Cardiff and Harlequins to book their place in the Final again.
Tigers have won just two of their last six fixtures against Exeter who have completed a home-and-away double over their Final rivals in league competition this season.
The teams have met twice before in Anglo-Welsh competition, with Chiefs winning in the pool stages in 2011 and in a semi-final two years ago when front-rower Greg Bateman claimed the decisive try before moving to Welford Road later that year.
Both clubs have used a combination of youth and experience in their line-ups on the way to the final and follow a similar pattern this weekend. Tigers recall Mike Williams and Peter Betham in the only changes in the starting line-up from last week’s semi-final, while Tom Youngs and Dom Barrow come into the matchday squad among the replacements. Matt Smith is in line for his 200th first-team appearance. Chiefs will be led out by former Tigers flanker Julian Salvi.
Previewing the game, Tigers assistant coach Geordan Murphy said: “In the first game down at Bath we were on the back of a couple of losses in the Premiership and Europe, and it was an important time to step up. We did that and it has grown from there.
“The players have taken their chances when they have come along, they’ve been really committed and that is what you want. We had one blip at Saracens in the group stages which meant we couldn’t get a home semi-final but we went there again and managed to get the win last week and get into the final.
“Now we have an opportunity to earn some silverware.
“Exeter are a good side, they play a good style of rugby. They want to play to space, they are clever with that. They like to force your mistakes with their defence. It should be a great final.”
Referee for Sunday is Tom Foley.
Chiefs are the top-seeded side in the Final based on points accrued in the pool stages and will therefore use the home dressing room at The Stoop and wear their first choice of kit. Tigers will be in the club’s alternate kit.
Kick-off is at 3.00pm and match tickets are still available from The Stoop. Click here for details.
There will be extra time if the scores are level after 80 minutes and a penalty kick competition will follow if the scores are still level.
There is live TV coverage on BT Sport. Or keep in touch via the Tigers club website and official social media pages.