Stevens wary of 'fantastic' Exeter Chiefs ahead of Allianz Park debut
Matt Stevens admits he is an admirer of what Exeter Chiefs have done during their time in the Aviva Premiership – but the Saracens prop is not going to give them an easy ride this weekend.
Saracens play their first league game at their new Allianz Park home on Saturday – with a sell-out crowd set to watch the match on an artificial surface.
Although Stevens continues to be impressed with Exeter, the former England player is not about to let them spoil the party.
"Exeter are a fantastic team and a team that shows how important culture is in rugby," said the 30-year-old.
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"I know Rob Baxter creates a really good environment for the boys. I played with a couple of the guys at Bath, James Scaysbrook most notably, and he can't say enough about how good the club is and how much of a family environment they've produced and I think that's something we do at Saracens as well.
"But that doesn't mean I won't be wishing for anything less than a Saracens win when they come to Allianz Park on Saturday. It is the first Premiership game at our new home and we all want to get off to a winning start.
"I think the pitch will be an advantage for us in the sense that we will have trained on it and they won't.
"Having said that, Exeter like to play a fast, running game and the artificial pitch definitely lends itself to that, so we will have to be careful for sure."
Saracens will be looking to bounce back in style after tasting defeat at lowly London Irish last time out.
However, Sarries are still on course to contest for a historic treble as they sit third in the Aviva Premiership and are in the knock-out stages of both the Heineken Cup and LV= Cup.
"The goal is to get to the play-offs of all the competitions we are in," he said.
"When you get there that's the magic of play-offs rugby, anything can happen and we'll be prepared to play our best rugby at the end of the season."
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