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Brian O’Driscoll backs a team not named Leinster or Saracens for Champions Cup glory

Brian O’Driscoll has predicted fortress Sandy Park can deliver Exeter Chiefs to a Champions Cup final spot come next May.

While not shunning Leinster and Saracens’ pedigree after their recent triumphs, the three-time Champions Cup-winner with Leinster has backed Rob Baxter’s organised side to be a foremost contender in this season’s competition.

And they will need to rely on their form at Sandy Park to build momentum in Europe with the platform of a perfect start to their Premiership campaign.

“For me at the moment looking at form, I think there are three teams that are capable of winning right now,” O’Driscoll said, speaking to ESPN.

“There are the last two winners of the competition in Saracens and Leinster, but I think Exeter have emerged as real potential victors.

“Their consistency and performance in the Premiership and the experience they’ve built up over the last few seasons playing tough opposition, with the disappointment that would have come last year playing against Leinster, and not losing by a whole lot against them, I think that will serve them well.

“Sandy Park has become a real fortress and Exeter are in great form, both at home and on the road. They are starting to rear their heads as a potential winner of the competition because of their consistency over the past four or five years.”

To date, Exeter haven’t been able to convert their impressive consistency in the Premiership on the continent, where they are yet to progress further than the quarter-final stage in the Champions Cup.

The Chiefs have a chance to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when they take on Munster at Sandy Park on Saturday, while Pool One rivals Gloucester and Castres meet at Kingsholm on Sunday.

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