By Katie Field
Who is the man of the moment?
Gareth Steenson, the Exeter Chiefs fly-half who is hoping to pilot his team to success over league leaders Saracens at Sandy Park on Saturday, 23 November (kick-off 3pm).
Why is he in the spotlight?
Steenson is set to be the first player to break the 100-point mark in this season’s Aviva Premiership. The 29-year-old Irishman has scored a total of 94 Premiership points this season coming into this weekend’s games, while his closest rival in the rankings, George Ford, has 79. Steenson’s dead-eye goal kicking helped Exeter earn promotion from the Championship in 2010 and he has thrived at the top level. Having been rested for the past two weeks, while the Chiefs were playing in the LV=Cup, Steenson is raring to go, eager to pit his skills against the cream of English club rugby. And with Exeter in fourth place in the table, seven points behind Saracens, a win for the Chiefs will help narrow that gap.
What’s Steenson got to say about it?
“Some of us have been able to recharge the batteries, have some down time and get away from the club. Although having a couple of weeks off has been good, we are aware we have to be straight back on it.
“You get that excitement when you come back and I think you’ll see that from all the guys. We will all be ready to run around against a top team – it’s a great way to get back into it. Saracens are a tough side, they are not top of the league for nothing.
“They are a physical team and if you don’t bring that side of it as well, you’re in for a long afternoon. They have threats right across the park but they have a lot of England internationals in there.
“We want these big teams coming down, we haven’t really performed that well against teams in the top four yet. It is something the guys are focusing on ahead of this weekend.”
Will he be whooping or weeping this weekend?
Exeter won 14-12 at home to Saracens last year, but lost 31-11 away. Exeter slipped up at home against Leicester in September, but they don’t lose many at Sandy Park so they should be able to battle to another close win over the table-toppers this weekend.