Saracens coach Alex Sanderson wants Exeter Chiefs to bring their best to the Premiership Final this weekend, in the hope it will push the defending champions to new heights.

It is a repeat of last season’s final where Saracens took home the trophy, for the second time in three years, following a 27-10 triumph.

A win on Saturday would mean a European and domestic double for Saracens, having lifted the Heineken Champions Cup earlier this month – seeing off defending champions Leinster 20-10 at St James’ Park.

Sanderson, was has coached at Saracens for more than a decade, was speaking at The Rugby Paper Awards where was named the inaugural winner of the FieldTurf Coach of the Year award.

He sees Exeter’s style of play as being similar to the Irish outfit they beat in the European final – and is hoping for the same result.

“There has been some rhetoric about Exeter not putting their best out in last year’s final and putting in a better performance this year,” he said.

“I hope they do to be honest. We want to see the best of them out there because that will being the best of us out.

“Then it’s the best spectacle it can be. It’s what the Premiership deserves because these have been the top two teams all season and this will be the one who separates who is ultimately the best.

“We have made lots of comparisons between Exeter and Leinster in terms of how they play the game, it’s quite attritional with good set pieces and wanting to keep the ball.

“They can be quite expansive with quality players streaked about.

“It does differ because Leinster were the ones dealing with being defending champions and the expectations which come with it.

“It’s easier to motivate yourselves when you’re the underdog and let the shackles off but now the roles are reversed.

“Exeter have less to lose with us being reigning champions. We are aware they are going to be breathing fire and have steam coming out their nostrils, so we will have to see who comes out when we both come at the game like that.”

Sanderson, who played for Sale Sharks and his current employers as a player, was honoured at the inaugural edition of the awards, which were held at The Stoop in Twickenham, home of Premiership side Harlequins.

It was the first-ever individual award he has won for his coaching, where he has been part of a backroom staff who have guided the club to the most successful period in their history.

Sanderson’s time in the set-up has seen them lift four Premiership titles and three European Champions Cups.

He admitted he would keep the prize for himself but credited it to the 45-strong playing and coaching group he works with every day at Saracens’ training base in St Albans.

“I’m flattered and extremely appreciative to win my first individual award as a coach,” he added.

“It will always be special to me but I feel guilty because much of what I do is a contributed factor with players and friends who I work with.

“It will probably stay on my mantlepiece, filled up with port, but it’s on behalf on the 45 people I work with on a daily basis.

“Winning is just the outcome. We’ve managed to keep a lot of talented people together for a long time and all these people have similar values.

“The culture is driven through day to day on the training field and it manifests itself on the pitch on Saturday.

“We have an organisation that has really started to hum for the last three or four years – long may that continue.”

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