Here, Standard Sport’s rugby correspondent Will Macpherson assesses three key battles that are likely to prove pivotal to the outcome of the contest…
Marcus Smith v Joe Simmonds
At 22 and 24 respectively, here are two extraordinary — and pretty different — young playmaking talents. Smith offers pure flair, whereas Simmonds is an impressively-tempered leader with superb all-round skills.
There is a sub-plot, too, in that both men will be looking to impress Eddie Jones, who is without George Ford and Owen Farrell this summer.
Alex Dombrandt v Sam Simmonds
A pair of wonderful power runners go head-to-head at the base of the scrum. Simmonds’ try-scoring feats this year are unparalleled, but Dombrandt has scored 10 times himself this season and he sparked the comeback against Bristol in the semi-final.
Dombrandt is a bigger, barrelling presence with delightful hands, while Simmonds — looking to sign off in style before linking up with the Lions — has gorgeous feet.
Joe Marchant v Henry Slade
It would not be a surprise if Slade is another player rested by Jones this summer. If he is, Marchant is a likely beneficiary. His superb all-round game has come on since his stint in Auckland last year, and he arrives in rude form after two tries in the semi.
Slade is a key man for Exeter, whether through his slick distribution, gliding running, superb defence, or booming boot.