By Chris Foy for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:32 BST, 23 October 2020 | Updated: 22:48 BST, 23 October 2020
The Premiership’s fitting final will go ahead at Twickenham this evening, to salvage the credibility of the league after a week when Covid contingency plans were held up to ridicule.
Mercifully, the pandemic did not turn the domestic showpiece into a farce, as appeared a distinct possibility just a few days ago. Weakened Wasps contained their outbreak to earn a shot at Exeter’s Euro stars and the title, and the relief was palpable.
If there are to be play-offs this is what the decider should be — first v second. It won’t be perfect with nearly 82,000 empty seats at the national stadium and with underdogs forced to leave out several leading men, but at least they made it, preventing the absurdity of Bristol deputising despite a 47-24 semi-final drubbing.
Exeter are bidding for a stunning double as they face Wasps in the Premiership final
What awaits is a fascinating clash of styles and circumstances. Rob Baxter’s Chiefs beat Racing 92 last Saturday in an epic encounter to claim the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time and enhance their status as bona fide heavyweights of the game at home and in Europe. Their task is to scale another peak seven days on and justify their billing as clear favourites with vast pedigree, having appeared in the last four Premiership finals. A Double is within their reach.
Wasps are riding the wave of a fairytale revival and seeking to seize back a trophy they last won 12 years ago. Head coach Lee Blackett, the unsung mastermind of their transformation, has invoked Baxter’s own mantra