Exeter’s progression into the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup is both exciting and testing.
For us to beat one of Europe’s biggest and most successful clubs in the form of Perpignan to top our pool was a memorable achievement.
Our meeting with another French side who meet the same criteria, Stade Francais, in the last eight is something we are already looking forward to.
Not only will the task of winning that game be a real challenge, it will also be a challenge that this squad has not faced before. It will be interesting to see how we deal with that.
We are all ambitious but we are also a relatively young squad in terms of experience of big games.
The size of the task we face in the quarter-final is clear when you look at the two squads.
Parisians Stade have huge depth in their set-up and can call up internationals off the bench for most games.
There is plenty of talent there and we will play them full of confidence in what we do. it’s just not quite as experienced as the Stade one!
It’s fairly obvious with the recent selection of the England Saxons and Elite Player Squads that those players who play for the clubs in the top half of the table are getting picked because they get noticed a lot more.
Winning big games in both Europe and the Aviva Premiership is key for both the clubs and its players and that top half is where we want to be consistently to get ourselves noticed.
Personally, I am back fit and in training now after a few weeks out injured. The carrot of the Stade game is a huge one. First of all though, I have to get myself back in the team and I am working my socks off to do just that.
Read more from Chris Whitehead.
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