Preview: Bordeaux-Bègles v Exeter

Date published: January 15 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Raphael_Ibanez_Bordeaux_Begles

Bordeaux-Bègles have made 11 changes for their Round 5 Champions Cup clash at home to Exeter Chiefs.

Australia star Adam Ashley-Cooper returns at outside centre along with Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Julien Rey, Blair Connor, Pierre Bernard and Yann Lesgourges in the UBB backline.

Upfront there's a spot for Loann Goujon and Hugh Chalmers in the hosts' back row, while in the tight five Jan Andre Marais is back along with Francisco Gomez Kodela, who takes over from Sekope Kepu, and Ole Avei.

Meanwhile, just Ollie Atkins and Olly Woodburn are retained by Exeter Chiefs from the starting XV who overcame Gloucester in the league last time out.

Baxter is hoping those afforded a chance this weekend will grasp the opportunity with both hands.

“It’s still a very strong side,” added Baxter.

“Yes, it’s different to what we’ve been playing in the Premiership, but it has to be. Jack Nowell, Will Chudley and Geoff Parling all picked up knocks last week, but that’s where we are.

“If you look at the side for this weekend, there is still a lot of Premiership and international experience in there and I am expecting them to be very competitive.

“As I said, we’ve not over analysed them too much this week, instead we’ve prepared solely with ourselves in mind. We’ve put a team out who I expect to express themselves in a positive manner and who will show great energy and make it a really exciting game.

“I don’t want us to get caught up in history of past games or what is happening elsewhere in the pool, I just want to go over there and let a team off the leash and get a big performance from them.”

Baxter continued: “These are exciting times for all of us and I am looking forward to seeing those players go out and play. I want them to stand up and be counted and force their way into the reckoning, not just for next week, but for the weeks that follow as well.

“For me, I am excited where this season can take us. This competition is exciting and so too is the Premiership, but at the same time so is having guys called up into the England set-up this week. I hope this is one of those seasons that you don’t want to end.”

Form: Exeter have won twice in eight away games in the Champions Cup with both of those wins coming in Wales. This will be Exeter's fourth consecutive game against French opposition. Bordeaux have lost 15 of their last 17 European games against English sides (including Challenge Cup), with both of those wins coming against London Welsh. Olly Woodburn scored two tries in the reverse fixture between these sides, one of just two occasions an Exeter player has scored a brace in a Champions Cup game (Thomas Waldrom v Clermont in Round 3).

The teams:

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Jan Andre Marais, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Lionel Beauxis, 23 Felix Le Bourhis

Exeter: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Max Bodilly, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann (c), 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Ollie Atkins, 3 Alex Brown, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Moray Low
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Julian Salvi, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Chrysander Botha

Date: Saturday, January 16
Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Brian MacNeice (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

COMMENTS