Exeter Chiefs: Premiership is the priority for Rob Baxter

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Rob Baxter
Exeter boss Rob Baxter has led the Chiefs in two Heineken Cup and two Amlin Cup campaigns

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter says he will use the European Challenge Cup to develop his squad.

The Chiefs are in Europe's second tier event for the first time in three years after last season.

"Our aim needs to be as a Premiership side fighting our way into the top-tier European competition," Baxter said.

"That will be our main focus, but at the same time when we've been involved with the Amlin Cup we've always used it as a tool to make us a better side."

Exeter, who were top seeds in Tuesday's draw, have been in Pool Two of the new tournament, which replaces the Amlin Challenge Cup.

The Chiefs reached the quarter-finals in their last appearance in the competition, losing a in April 2012.

"It's very exciting and very interesting," Baxter told BBC Sport.

"There's two French clubs that we haven't been to before in serious competition - that's always nice as it gives us a chance to experience something new.

"We've played at Connacht in pre-season and they've always proved to be a pretty tough team to beat, especially at home in European competition.

"We can use the whole competition in a really good way to revitalise us as a team.

"This season, in particular this group of games, is going to be fantastic for our development as a squad as a whole."

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