Chiefs name side in ‘Contest of Champions’

0
GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Exeter Chiefs fans before the Aviva Premiership match between Gloucester Rugby and Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm Stadium on September 1, 2017 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Ashley Western - CameraSport via Getty Images)

The Premiership Champions, Exeter Chiefs will be looking to notch themselves above Saracens further this weekend, when they travel to Allianz Park. Sarries will surely be looking for revenge on the Devonians, after their last minute loss to the Chiefs during the playoffs. Sam Simmonds’ last ditch try from their ever potent driving maul, will surely still be playing on the minds of the men from North London.

 

The Chiefs took top spot last Sunday after their sluggish victory against Harlequins. However, producing a bonus point victory when not at your worlds best, will stand them in good stead going into the weekend, against a strong Saracens side.

 

Exeter Head Coach Ali Hepher said this week of Saracens quality that “They’ve got quality right the way across the board.” He added, “It gives us an opportunity to stamp our mark on the league, but the most important thing is that we drive in a better performance than we did on the weekend.”

Sarries will be without some of their key men in the likes of Alex Lozowski, Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell who no doubt will have been missed last weekend when the Chiefs leap frogged the the European Champions.

Hepher said of Saracens loss to Gloucester, “They’ll come back strongly, their energy and enthusiasm they put into a game is right up there so we’ve got to make sure we’re right on top of our game in that area.” He said, “We’ve both got very good, strong squads. You look at the fifteen they put out against Gloucester; it’s internationals across the board. It’s not weakened at all, as we are with a few guys away, it’ll be a good quality performance.”

“It’s important that we do what we do, really well.”

His sentiments were backed up by Chiefs centre, Sam Hill, who said “It’s always tough away at Sarries, they’re second with a few points below us, it’s always a close game against them, and after their loss last week, they’ll be really up for it.” Sam is one of two Chiefs to make their first start of the season in the Premiership, as he is joined alongside Matt Kvesic, who is yet to appear for his new club in the top division, after his move away from the cherry and whites.

The Chiefs make three changes to their starting side that beat Harlequins. In the front row, Australia international Greg Holmes replaces Moray Low who moves to the bench. Matt Kvesic comes in for Julian Salvi at open side flanker and Sam Hill replaces Ollie Devoto, who made his first Premiership start of the season last week, after a long stint on the sidelines.

 

The bench sees three changes with Greg Holmes being given the nod. Shaun Malton comes in for Luke Cowan-Dickie who is working his way back into the starting contention; and James Short fills the gap left behind by Sam Hill, as he is promoted to the starting line-up.

 

Exeter Chiefs:

15 Phil Dollman

14 Lachie Turner

13 Ian Whitten

12 Sam Hill

11 Olly Woodburn

10 Gareth Steenson

9 Nic White

 

1 Ben Moon

2 Jack Yeandle (captain)

3 Greg Holmes

4 Mitch Lees

5 Johnny Hill

6 Don Armand

7 Matt Kvesic

8 Thomas Waldrom

 

Replacements:

 

16 Shaun Malton

17 Alex Hepburn

18 Moray Low

19 Toby Salmon

20 Sam Skinner

21 Will Chudley

22 Joe Simmonds

23 James Short

Main Photo Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY