Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter believes he has earned the right to rest players when they play Wasps in their last Premiership league match on Sunday.
Baxter’s side are sitting pretty at the top of the table but with a Premiership semi-final and Champions Cup final still to play, he could leave out several of his first-choice players against play-off chasing Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.
“As a group we’ve earned the opportunity to organise these games how we want to,” Baxter told the BBC.
“The only thing we’ll be focusing on is what’s good for us as a club. We’ve earned that right, in a very difficult scenario, to be in a position to manage ourselves now.”
Wasps are currently in second spot on the table and just two points separate them from Bristol, who are in fifth place. The Bears are away to London Irish while third-placed Bath go to Saracens and Sale, who are fourth, host London Irish in Sunday’s final round of fixtures.
“The key is going to be having the largest and best group ready to play big games of rugby as possible,” added Baxter.
“And some of that does include guys getting some minutes against Wasps and for other guys it means giving the chance to have a really good training period of 10 days in preparation for the semi-final.
“The players have earned the right to get to semi-finals and finals and we have to manage that to the best of our ability, and the reality is it’s for everyone else to get themselves into the top four and find out where they end up.
“That’s not the responsibility of us any more. We’ve done our bit.”
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