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Clark wants Exeter Chiefs to make club proud

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 18, 2013

Neil Clark

Neil Clark

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Exeter Chiefs hooker Neil Clark wants to make the club's supporters proud in their final Heineken Cup tie against Leinster tomorrow.

The Devon club already know progression from Pool Five is no longer a possibility, regardless of the outcome at Sandy Park this weekend.

However, Clark hopes to retain his place in the side and help Chiefs to a third Cup win in their debut season in Europe's premier club competition. He said: "Hopefully, if picked, I can help the team put in a performance everyone is proud of.

"I think they are beatable, it is only another 15 blokes on the pitch. Every year we keep facing these new challenges and for us to be able to bring sides like Clermont and Leinster down to Devon is a dream come true.

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"This is the first year we have been in the Heineken Cup and if we could pull three out of six group games that would be an unbelievable achievement for everyone involved."

Clark understands how difficult it will be to earn victory this weekend. The level required for success in the Heineken Cup was emphatically demonstrated by Clermont Auvergne last weekend, as they beat Chiefs 46-3 at Stade Marcel Michelin.

He said: "Everybody knows Leinster are a side full of top-class players, similar to Clermont, really. You don't win the Heineken Cup without having class acts in your side, so we know it will be a very tough challenge.

"If we can come here and put in a performance that we're proud of and we know we are capable of, there is no reason why we can't come away with a win.

"Two or three years ago, who would have thought you would have Leinster coming down to Sandy Park? Now it is a reality and a big challenge that we are looking forward to. It will probably be no more difficult than last week. That was over there, everyone knows what it is like playing in France.

"We went well up front and we pride ourselves on our set piece and it is something we will definitely focus on this week."

While Leinster need a win to keep their Heineken Cup campaign alive, Chiefs have one eye on retribution for the narrow 9-6 defeat they suffered in Dublin when the teams last met in October.

"We went over there and threw the kitchen sink at it," said Clark. "They were at the beginning of their season and it was our first test in the Heineken Cup.

"We have learned a lot since then and we're looking forward to them coming down here.

"We know that they are playing for a lot and it will be an interesting game."

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