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Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 15:05 UK

Exeter's Richie Baxter prepared for Premiership step up


Exeter Chiefs' Richie Baxter says the side must improve again if they are to survive their debut Premiership season

Exeter Chiefs' veteran number eight Richie Baxter has said he is under no illusions about the difficulty of their debut Premiership season.

The Chiefs' side meet Gloucester in their opening league fixture at Sandy Park on 4 September.

Baxter, 32, told BBC Spotlight: "We know we need to knuckle down this year and improve in all of the games.

"Everything is another level up now and that's the exciting thing, because it's a chance to test yourself."

The guys that we'll be playing against now will be regular internationals and England 'A' team players

Richie Baxter

Exeter gained promotion to rugby's top flight in May, by beating Bristol over two legs [38-16] in the Championship play-off final.

Baxter continued: "If I or any other player want to be a successful Premiership player, it's about adapting, working harder and doing those things that help you perform.

"The guys that we'll be playing against now will be regular internationals, England 'A' team players and so as the club's progressed each year as a player you've got to move on and progress."

Baxter has spent his whole professional career at the Chiefs and holds the club record for appearances, having played over 300 games during his 13 years with the side.

He added: "We can't go any higher than the Premiership and we're right up there now, testing ourselves against the best and as a player and professional sportsman that's what you want to be doing."

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