Exeter becomes English rugby champion for first time

Beale to miss Premiership final with hamstring injury

"It is awesome. It was done on a seven year plan so we're actually on time".

But he did not intend missing the moment, briefly heading back to Exeter with his team-mates to savour a first Premiership crown in the club's 146-year history. I just had to go through my processes and my technique and hopefully it would stand up firm.

England wing Nowell, who scored Exeter's opening try in a pulsating 23-20 victory over Wasps that was only decided after 20 minutes of extra-time, barely had time to celebrate before switching his thoughts from domestic glory to British and Irish Lions business in New Zealand as the squad assembled a day ahead of departure.

Exeter, beaten in the final by Saracens past year, built a deserved 14-3 lead after 30 minutes with tries by Jack Nowell and Phil Dollman but Wasps finally found a way to unleash their top-drawer backs and well-crafted tries by Jimmy Gopperth and Elliot Daly either side of halftime helped them turn it into 20-14 lead midway through the second half.

The Australia global full-back, who returns to play Down Under this summer, was not part of the 23-man team announced by Wasps on Friday after being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Baxter then challenged his side to focus their ambitious sights on European success.

"We have let ourselves down in Europe so far but now we have to put that right".

It was the 14th minute of extra-time, the 94th gruelling minute of the Premiership final, when Jack Nowell collected the ball from the base of a ruck and looked up. We're dwelling too much on what has happened.

Not many players can boast tasting success in both the Premiership and Championship, least with the same club, and asked if the Chiefs could ever have dreamt of lifting the Premiership trophy seven years ago, the 33-year-old Dungannon native wasn't sure what to think, especially after the dismal start to the season they endured.

"When we first got promoted, probably not", Steenson said.

Enormous credit should go to Wasps director of rugby, Dai Young, who, in theory, might have called for uncontested scrums once his various props got injured during the game.

"Fair play to Wasps, they are a unsafe side and showed exactly what they're about, but credit goes to us boys for sticking in there".

However, they survived, then thrived, building gradually within their means, bringing in the odd experienced signing while producing a pipeline of academy players into the first team and have become every fan's second-favourite club.

"We were 90 seconds away from winning it but it wasn't to be". Exeter have shown the way and shown what can be done if you keep at it and know which direction you want to go in. We stuck at them for the whole 80 and to score when we did at the end, probably mentally hurt them a little bit and we probably dominated them a little bit in extra time.



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