Planet Rugby

Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Bath

28th December 2012 12:07

Share:

Lee Mears R of Bath runs v Exeter

Charging: Lee Mears

A New Year maybe just days away, but Exeter Chiefs are intent on ending 2012 with a bang as they prepare to welcome Bath.

Team news for the Chiefs sees skipper Tom Hayes return in the second row in place of James Hanks, whilst behind Phil Dollman - who missed last weekend's game because of illness - returns in the centre at the expense of Ian Whitten.

The former Ulsterman and Hanks both drop down to the bench where they will be joined by returning England international Tom Johnson.

Meanwhile, Matt Banahan, Ben Skirving, Ryan Caldwell, Dave Attwood and Ollie Devoto all return to the Bath Rugby line-up as the side travel to Sandy Park.

Banahan comes back into the side at number 12, partnering Kyle Eastmond for the first time in the centres. Tom Biggs and Horacio Agulla start outside them on the wings, with Ollie Devoto making his first Aviva Premiership start at fullback. Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens continue their half-back partnership.

Skirving returns from injury to be named at number 8, with Guy Mercer and Francois Louw on the openside and blindside flanks respectively.

Attwood and Caldwell combine in the second row, whilst there are no changes to the front row, which sees David Wilson and Paul James continue either side of Lee Mears at hooker.

Form: The narrow 18-16 defeat at Gloucester was the Chiefs first loss in their last eight games in all competitions, and left them four points off the Aviva Premiership play-off zone. If they are to end 2012 on a high note they will have to do so against a Bath side they have failed to beat since entering the top flight in 2010 - with six defeats to their local rivals in all competitions since then. That run includes a 23-15 reverse at The Rec in late October - leaving Bath as the only Premiership side the Chiefs are yet to beat since their promotion. Bath are also coming into the match off the back of a defeat to a side in the top four, suffering a 22-0 turnover at the hands of a Charlie Hodgson-inspired Saracens at The Rec last weekend.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 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 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 James Hanks, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Kyle Eastmond, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Dan Hipkiss.

Date: Saturday , December 29
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: David Rose
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Andrew Pearce

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale15:15
Castres vs Leinster14:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615