16:59: That’s all from us at Twickenham. A heartbreaking end to the season for the Chiefs, but Saracens squeezed them out of the game with a mix of brute force and controlled kicking. We’ll be back at Sandy Park next year with coverage of the Chiefs.

16:56: Mako Vunipola picks up the man of the match award as they set up the podium for the trophy presentation. Don Armand looks subdued as he chats to reporters – there’s a distinct sense they didn’t quite leave it all out there today: no controversial refereeing decision, or chalked-off try, to complain about here – Saracens were the better side.

FULL TIME: And that’s it. It’s all over. Saracens are Aviva Premiership Champions…

79 mins: Spencer pulls the conversion to the left.

78 mins: TRY SARACENS! Icing on the cake for the Allianz side. Exeter switch off down the blind-side, the ball comes to Alex Goode who runs a late angle into the line, and his pass sends Nathan Earle diving over the whitewash unopposed in the corner.

77 mins: The fans are starting to trickle out here. Disappointing end to the season for Exeter – they will feel they haven’t shown their full potential here today, but that is exactly what Saracens do to teams. They grind them down defensively and pounce with ruthless efficiency in attack.

75 mins: Saracens so nearly have their third try, but Sam Skinner intercepts a crucial pass – but he can’t hold onto it. Saracens making more changes – they must think they’re home now. Scrum 8m from Exeter’s line to the left of the posts.

73 mins: Sarries have forced Exeter back into their 22 with their tactical kicking. They field Townsend’s box-kick and are holding onto the ball. Nothing flashy now – they’re 7 minutes away from glory.

70 mins: Penalty Saracens. Ben Spencer converts in front of the sticks – Exeter trail 10-22.

70 mins: Close! They’re over the line, but Barnes pulls it back for double movement. They have the advantage though – sensibly, Barritt points to the posts.

69 mins: Sarries turning to screw here. Bounce of the ball favouring them too. They’re 5m out – another score would be decisive, you feel.

67 mins: Saracens player down in the backfield – it’s Brad Barritt. He’s been in the wars today.

66 mins: Conservative kick to the 22, and then Exeter spill it at the tail. They get the ball back, but it’s a Saracens penalty for Holmes not releasing. Golden period for Chiefs – Sarries now trying to run the clock down and take as long they can. Farrell is off – Bosch is on; Waldrom comes on for Sam Simmonds.

65 mins: Chance straight away. Exeter break from their 22, Turner stamps his way out of a half-tackle, and only a Slade fumble prevents a glorious opportunity. They’ll come back for the penalty – perhaps a blessing if they can get the rumble going!

63 mins: TRY EXETER! And it’s Gareth Steenson! The old head sends Twickenham into raptures – a neat dummy and go from the scrum, and the Irishman carries a defender over the line. His conversion is good – 19-10. Game on for Exeter!

61 mins: NO TRY! Scrum 5 to Chiefs…

61 mins: Initial punch by Sam Simmonds takes them 2m short. Huge overlap on the left – but Simmonds ignores it and carries it to the line again. Exeter rumble ver – the crowd think they’ve scored. TMO is called for…

60 mins: This time it’s short! Huge carrying from Exeter, but Saracens hold firm – Chiefs need the try if they’re t get back in this.

59 mins: SIN BIN: Schalk Brits. It looks like it’s going over…Barnes has his arm out…but Sarries pull it down! Brits is walking off – he’s been sent to the bin. Exeter go back to the corner…

58 mins: Close down the left! Woodburn draws the last man, finds Turner on his shoulder who is pulled down by the cover defence, and the Australian turns it back inside. It doesn’t come to anything – Exeter take it back for a penalty just inside the 10m line – but that’s the first time they’ve really had Saracens on the back foot. Promising. Steenson puts them 5m out…

57 mins: Chiefs stringing the phases together nicely now. Nowell is to the fore, Skinner shows his ability in the loose. Gaps, and overlaps, are appearing – it’s about finishing one of them off.

54 mins: Monstrous counter-ruck by Itoje. Jonny Hill tries to secure the ball – but he’s in from the side. Pressure: released.

53 mins: Turning point? Perhaps, as the scrum wheels and Mako Vunipola is pinged. Exeter play a neat short ball at the resulting lineout. They’re going to have to throw everything they’ve got at Sarries now.


52 mins: Keystone cops moment in the midfield. First Whitten, then Armond, and then Farrell display some butter fingers. Itoje is down – worrying signs for England fans. Sarries bring on Schalk Brits – an absolute hero at the Allianz Arena – and Juan Figallo for Jamie George and Koch respectively. Itoje is back on his feet.

50 mins: Bit of a breather here as a Barritt is down. Sam Skinner comes on to replace Mitch Lees. Marcelo Bosch is on as a H.I.A. for the Sarries captain.

49 mins: Baxter rings the changes…

47 mins: TRY SARACENS! And they are! Chris Wyles has his second. Good work by the forwards around the fringes, tying in Exeter defenders, allows space on the left – and there’s acres of it. Lozowski finds Goode and the full-back puts Wyles in the clear – an easy finish for his second of the game. Farrell has clearly changed his boot at half-time – nails the conversion from tight to the touchline. 19-3.

46 mins: Barritt’s away on an inside offload and Sarries are into the Exeter 22. The Sarries fans are vocal for the first time today. They sense their rumbling side is in…

45 mins: Ball spills loose from poor Sarries handling in midfield, Joe Simmonds picks up and kicks, and Woodburn hares after it, but Saracens mop up and Farrell is able to plug the corner left absent by Woodburn. Ruthless – Exeter half-chance becomes a defensive operation.

16:03: Alas, it comes to nothing. A good string of phases into the double figures, but Nowell can’t catch the ball by his fingertips and it’s a Sarries lineout on their own 10m line – and now a penalty for (very minimal) contact in the air.

16:02: Better from Exeter – more vigour in the carry and some tasty running lines to check the Sarries defence. They’re up to the Saracens 10m line…

16:00: Teams are back out. Chiefs have 40 minutes to turn this around and retain the Aviva Premiership trophy…

15:58: Some more stats…

Scrums: Exe 3/3; Saracens 5/5
Lineouts: Exe 4/6; Saracens 1/2
Rucks: Exe 67/68; Saracens 63/63
Mauls: Exe 2/2; Saracens 0
Defenders beaten: Exe 13; Saracens 8
Penalties conceded: Exe 3; Saracens 4
Offloads: Exe 4; Saracens 6

15:55: If Exeter are to get back into this, they need the ball. They’ve had half of it, but it’s clearly not enough – they need to starve their opponents and string together the phases in the hope a gap will open.

It hasn’t looked like Saracens will yield, but as players begin to tire, you’d expect gaps to open up for the Simmonds brothers, Slade, and Nowell to exploit. If the arm wrestle continues, you can expect Saracens’ ruthlessness to see them home to the trophy.

15:54: Some half-time stats for you…and it’s surprisingly even in some regards. 50:50 in terms of possession, with 55% of that taking part in Exeter’s half. Same number of carries for both sides – 77 with 2 clean breaks apiece, but Sarries have made 222 metres to Exe’s 139.

Tackles are similarly even – 92 for Exeter, 88 for Saracens, with a success rate of 91% and 85% respectively (8 and 13 missed).

15:49: Chiefs dominated the opening ten minutes, with one penalty scored and one missed. Saracens, in typical fashion, stormed back into the game with a brutish score – and haven’t looked back since.

HALF TIME: Exeter Chiefs 3 – 12 Saracens

40 mins: Penalty Saracens. Farrell from out wide on the left…and he’s pulled it to the left!

39 mins: Armand is back on for Waldrom – could use some leadership from the captain. Another scrum goes down, Saracens nudge ever-so-slightly forwards, and Barnes awards them the advantage. Turning the screw…

37 mins: We’re having a bit of a breather here. Don Armand is n the exercise bike – not sure if he’s coming back on. An incredible statistic for you – Exeter had 100% of the possession after 9 minutes. Saracens have since reduced that to 48%. Crucially, the numbers that matter are on the scoreborard – Sarries still lead 12-3.

37 mins: Half a chance in midfield as another Koch knock-on finds its way to Dave Ewers, but the big second-row can’t keep his composure to find a teammate and the chance goes begging.

35 mins: Lineout goes astray, Farrell dinks it behind Nowell and Wyles is sure to score…isn’t he? No! The little Cornishman hares back to knock the ball out of the American’s arms and save a certain try. Exeter hanging on!

34 mins: Huge pressure from Saracens! Two charged down kicks in a matter of seconds. First Farrell on Turner, then Itoje on White. Exeter fortunate to have a 5m lineout rather than concede the try.

33 mins: Saracens stringing the phases together and breaking the gainline every time. An inside ball from Farrell careers off Vincent Koch – the prop doesn’t look too happy with the unsympathetic pass. Exeter have the scrum on their 22.

31 mins: Don Armand has taken a blow to his head – off he goes for a H.I.A. Waldrom is on – crowd is happy. Final appearance for the Chiefs, they could use a trademark run from the big man to get back in the game.

30 mins: Lachie Turner puts a speculative chip in on the back foot and, incredibly, the bounce favours Exeter. Cries from the crowd to move it wide, and a huge hit on Hepburn by his opposite number, but Saracens hold firm. Huge contact from both attack and defence. Cowan-Dickie, perhaps feeling that hit, knocks on out wide to bring the move to an end. Bodies strewn across the pitch for both teams.

26 mins: Saracens run it and Lozowski is nearly clear off an inside ball. It’ll come back for Chiefs dropping a scrum, though. Farrell thinks about the posts, but instead puts Saracens 10m out with a kick to touch.

24 mins: Chiefs get a reprieve as Kruis is pinged for offside at a lineout. No mistake with the touch finder – but Cowan-Dickie can’t keep his throw straight. Exeter need the mettle of champions here.

22 mins: Sarries taking control now. Winning the aerial battles, getting over the gainline, plugging the corners with their kicks. Chiefs under pressure.

20 mins: TRY SARACENS! Like London buses, Sarries have another! It looked fairly innocuous in the middle of the the park, but the backs overloaded the left wing and Chris Wyles was the grateful recipient of Maitland’s deft draw-and-pass. Farrell’s conversion drifts wide to the right – they lead 12-3. Testing times for the Chiefs.

17 mins: Chiefs go back to basics and keep the ball in hand. Solid possession by the men in black, but Jackson Wray gets in over the ball to win a penalty at the breakdown on his own 22.

14 mins: TRY SARACENS! First decent possession for Saracens – and they’re away! A break by Alex Goode sees him hack the ball on, Farrell cross-field kicks to Wyles and Billy Vunipola takes it up to the line…and when it comes back to him he’s able to crash over! Like that, Saracens lead – 7-3 with Farrell’s conversion. Ruthless!

12 mins: And Slade misses touch! Big game nerves are showing…

11 mins: Sarries get their hands on the ball for the first time in the game – and it’s quickly put to the boot. No messing here from either side. Saracens, however, concede another penalty – this time for pulling Jonny Hill down at a lineout.

9 mins: Another penalty to Exeter at the breakdown. Simmonds is having another shot from the 10m line – the angle makes it about 43 metres. Tricky…and it shows. It’s scuffed short and wide.

5 mins: Penalty Exeter. Great possession from Chiefs despite resolute Sarries defence. Some neat handling by Hepburn and Lees puts Hill half clear, and Saracens infringe in front of the sticks. Joe Simmonds nails the kick from the 22, and we’ve got points on the board – 3-0 to Chiefs.

2 mins: Great box-kicking from Nic White forcing a knock-on from Sean Maitland as we have our first scrum of the game. Tester…

1 min: And we’re off!

14:55: The trophy gets carried out by Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dallaglio in name of the Doddie Weir Trust. Puts things into perspective…and here come the teams, led out by Don Armand of the Chiefs and Brad Barritt for Saracens.

14:50: Wayne Barnes’ name is announced over the tannoy to a chorus of boos from both sets of fans – perhaps the last time they’ll be in unison until the final whistle.

14:48: The teams head back into the sheds. We’re 10 minutes away here…

14:44: Stadium is filling up nicely. The Chiefs fans have somewhat further to travel than their North London counterparts – great effort from the Devon army as the first Tomahawk Chop rings around the ground.

14:31: We’re just under half and hour away from kick-off. Both teams going through their paces. There’s a stiff, swirling wind inside the stadium that takes the edge off the searing sun. Perfect weather for some positive rugby – let’s hope we get it!

14:08: You can follow the action here, or over on the Exeposé Sport twitter account – @exeposeport.

14:02: Exeter Chiefs finished the domestic season 8 points clear of second-placed Saracens. A solid 36-5 demolition of Newcastle at Sandy Park last week saw the Chiefs into the final. For Saracens, a similarly impressive 57-33 triumph over Wasps booked their place in today’s showpiece event.

13:50: As if you needed a reminder…

13:45: The game today is a repeat of the 2016 final – the first time Exeter Chiefs made their way to Twickenham in the Premiership. Exeter will be looking to avoid a repeat of the 28-20 defeat they suffered at the hands of Owen Farrell et al. that day.

13:40: This is how the two sides line-up today…

Exeter: Lachie Turner; Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Sam Hill, Olly Woodburn; Joe Simmonds, Nic White; Alec Hepburn, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tomas Francis, Mitch Lees, Jonny Hill, Dave Ewers, Don Armand (c), Sam  Simmonds.

Replacements: Jack Yeandle, Ben Moon, Greg Holmes, Sam Skinner, Thomas Waldrom, Stuart Townsend, Gareth Steenson, Olly Whitten.

Saracens: Alex Goode; Sean Maitland, Alex Lozowski, Brad Barritt (c), Chris Wyles; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Vincent Koch, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Nick Isiekwe, Jackson Wray, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Richard Barrington, Juan Figallo, Will Skelton, Michael Rhodes, Ben Spencer, Marcelo Bosch, Nathan Earle.

13:30: Good afternoon everybody! It’s a glorious afternoon in South West London as Exeter Chiefs are set to take on Saracens in the Aviva Premiership Final. Wil Jones and Josh Brown will be providing you by-the-minute updates and analysis.

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