Fit-again Dean Mumm eyes Heineken Cup for Exeter Chief
Australia international Dean Mumm is targeting Heineken Cup rugby as Exeter Chiefs return to action after two fixture-free weekends.
The Devon club were given a break by the resumption of the LV= Cup, a competition Chiefs bowed out of in the group stages.
However, they return to action at Sandy Park this weekend against Leicester Tigers with Mumm fit again after missing his side's 27-16 win over Harlequins three weeks ago.
"This is a very ambitious club," said Mumm. "We want to get on a run and most things are still possible at the moment.
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"We want to grab a top-six spot and get into the Heineken Cup next year. Once that is done, we can aim as high as we want. First things first, we need to get the win this weekend and keep the momentum going."
The rest has certainly been beneficial to Chiefs. As well as Mumm, fellow forwards Chris Whitehead, Brett Sturgess and Hoani Tui have also returned to fitness as well as centre Jason Shoemark.
Mumm and the rest are optimistic they can continue the pre-break return to form that saw them beat London Welsh and Quins.
"The perception and the mood around the place is a little bit happier," said Mumm.
"There was a little bit of pressure on us as a team to perform after the period around Christmas that we maybe were not so proud of.
"There were a number of losses by a couple of points, and if we had taken the wins, it would have removed the pressure and given us a good springboard into the last part of the season.
"The results against Welsh and Quins have given us a ray of hope and we want to hold on to that and take it forward.
"It would have been nice to carry on, perhaps, instead of having the break. There was a little bit of a roll building and some momentum.
"But we have been able to train reasonably well in the last couple of weeks and two weeks gives you time to refresh some players.
"Momentum is very much a mental thing, rather than any real need to play week to week – that is the way we have approached the break and trained hard through it.
"The break is a time when you can get a little bit of balance. It is a time when it is not all about performance, you can get away and freshen up mentally.
"We want to take that forward now with a win against Leicester."
The Tigers will begin reintegrating their international stars this weekend after the completion of the Six Nations last weekend.
Mumm, having not seen too much of the tournament before moving to England, hopes to see the likes of Dan Cole and Martin Castrogiovanni up close this weekend.
"I'm not even sure if every Six Nations game is televised back home but you certainly miss out on seeing how good a competition it is," said Mumm.
"It may be a little bit different here to a packed house at the Millennium Stadium or in Rome for those boys, but they will have a passionate and aggressive Chiefs crowd getting into them here as well.
"If you want to beat Leicester, you want to beat them when they are at full strength.
"I think it is perfectly set up. It is a great opportunity for us, whoever they bring down."