By Mark Stevens
Julian Salvi insists there will be no old pals act when he leads his Exeter Chiefs side into battle against former club Leicester Tigers in today’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final at the Twickenham Stoop.
The Australian will lock horns with a number of close friends who still remain in place from his successful playing days at Welford Road. However, friendships will be put to onside as the Chiefs look to claim the season’s first piece of major silverware.
Salvi was among the four try-scorers as Devon’s finest booked a third successive final appearance with last Sunday’s 24-7 victory at home to Harlequins.
Now, he aims to go one step further and spearhead the Chiefs to a second Anglo-Welsh crown against English rugby’s most decorated club side.
“Any chance you get to play in a final is always a big occasion, and I am definitely looking forward to it,” said the experienced open-side.
“Any time you face your old club, it is always something you look forward to. I have still got friends at Leicester and it will be interesting to see if they get selected or not. If they are, then I will be coming for them, and they will be coming for me!”
“It will be game on and it will be a good battle.”
Although the Tigers have seen an upturn in form in recent weeks, including beating defending champions Saracens in the other semi-final a week ago, they have failed to beat the Chiefs twice this season in the Premiership.
Salvi and his team-mates know they face a formidable challenge in the capital today, but he insists he would love for that winning sequence to continue with victory this afternoon.
“It would be nice to make it a hat-trick of wins against them,” added Salvi. “Every time you go out you want to win the game, and the fact that we’ve done them twice this year, they will be coming for a bit of retribution.
“We know what to expect, we know what we need to do, and if we play our best rugby, then put our best foot forward, hopefully we will get the right result in the end.”