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Exeter template cut from Munster cloth

Tom Hayes played a leading role in the club's rise and a chunk of his heart is still in Devon

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‘The critical bit of business was taking the club from the County Ground to the purpose-built Sandy Park’

‘The critical bit of business was taking the club from the County Ground to the purpose-built Sandy Park’

‘The critical bit of business was taking the club from the County Ground to the purpose-built Sandy Park’

Seven years ago, Leicester Tigers travelled to Marseille to take on Toulon in the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup. It was the first year of Toulon's takeover after Leinster had dominated the scene since 2009. Toulon in Stade Mayol would be a handful at any stage of the competition, but for their first home quarter-final in Europe's premier competition they wanted to make an impression.

After a slow start they managed to shift the game in their favour. The Tigers could see the tide had turned. Then they lost Tom Croft just before the break, a player who a few months later would be heading on his second Lions tour. He was replaced by Thomas Waldrom. Thomas the Tank.


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