Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Exeter Chiefs

29th November 2013 10:07

Share:

Horacio Agulla Bath AVP 2013

Back from Test duty: Horacio Agulla

Horacio Agulla and Francois Louw return to the Bath's starting line-up for Saturday's Premiership clash with Exeter at the Recreation Ground.

The duo are back for Bath's Premiership campaign following international duties with Argentina and South Africa respectively.

Agulla lines up on the opposite wing to Matt Banahan, with Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph continuing their midfield partnership. Anthony Watson is selected at full-back, as George Ford combines with Peter Stringer in the half-backs once more.

Louw takes the starting openside shirt, forming a powerful back-row trio alongside Matt Garvey and Leroy Houston.

Dominic Day partners Dave Attwood in the engine room, with the unchanged front-row of Nathan Catt, Rob Webber and David Wilson completing the scrum.

Meanwhile Exeter boss Baxter has tinkered with his formation offering a first league start of the season to Luke Arscott at full-back. His inclusion means Phil Dollman drops back into the midfield where he will partner the recalled Jason Shoemark.

Up front, the only change to the Exeter pack sees Ben Moon come in at loosehead for Brett Sturgess, who drops to the bench alongside Ian Whitten.

"Bath are a good side, a top-four team and the type of big challenge you are going to have to face if you're pushing up the league," said Baxter.

"Whenever we have gone at each other with full-strength sides they have always been pretty close games. Saracens last week was the kind of game that you expect against a top-four side, particularly one with a strong defensive set-up.

"If you play well, you are going to give yourself a couple of opportunities but you have to take them too. At the weekend I thought we played very well in a tight affair but there were a couple of opportunities we didn't take.

"You have to be able to deal with that, step back and take in the bigger picture and force those things when they happen next time."

Form: Bath have won their last seven matches in all tournaments since tripping up at Sale in the Premiership on 4 October. Bath have lost only once at The Rec in the Premiership in their last dozen encounters since September 2012: 0-22 to Saracens in December 2012. Exeter Chiefs three game winning run in the Premiership ended at home to Saracens on Saturday. The Chiefs only away defeat in the tournament since February was 11-38 at Northampton in the opening weekend of this season. Exeter's solitary victory over Bath in any tournament came way back in January 1978 at the old County Ground in the first round of the John Player Cup. The Chiefs have already visited the Rec this season, being defeated there 15-37 in the LV= Cup two weeks ago.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Paul James, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Nick Abendanon

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten

Date: Saturday 30th November
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 1515 (local and GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe, Peter Huckle
TMO: Keith Lewis

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26