Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Exeter Chiefs

23rd November 2012 10:34

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Starter: Darren Allinson

Tom Homer will start at full-back for London Irish when they take the field against Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Chris Hala'ufia and Bryn Evans also return to the starting line-up after being rested against Leicester Tigers in the LV=Cup.

"We have eight players away on international duty and another eight of our first team squad are injured so Sunday will be a real test of our playing resources at present," said London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith.

"Exeter are having a very good run this season and have become a genuine force in the Premiership and Europe; so it will be a tough challenge but one we will be prepared for."

Exeter Chiefs return to Aviva Premiership action this weekend with head coach Rob Baxter calling on his side to "show their ambition" at the Madejski Stadium.

Those included on the bench are prop Hoani Tui, who has now recovered fully from his hamstring injury; flanker Tom Johnson, who was released from England duty earlier this week; and Fijian powerhouse Sireli Naqelevuki who is also back from international duty.

Form: London Irish have won just one of their last four games: 34-28 at home to Sale in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The Exiles have won four of their last five contests at Madejski Stadium in all competitions. Exeter Chiefs have won their last three fixtures in all competitions, but are yet to be victorious on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season. The Chiefs claimed a maiden victory over London Irish last season with their 18-11 win at Sandy Park in March.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher (c), 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Matt Garvey, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Brian Blaney, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements 16 Gerard Ellis 17 Richard Palframan, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Conor Gaston, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Jack Moates.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 James Hanks, Tom Hayes (c), 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Hoani Tui, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Date: Sunday, November 25
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Alan Hughes
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw
Assessor: Gary Welsh

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