Planet Rugby

Preview: Exeter v Clermont

19th October 2012 08:44

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Julien Pierre clermont

Starting for Clermont: Julien Pierre

Clermont have made just one enforced change to their starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup clash with Exeter Chiefs.

With Nathan Hines serving a six-week suspension, French international Julien Pierre is called into the second-row.

The Chiefs suffered a narrow 9-6 defeat to the European champions Leinster in their first Heineken Cup game last weekend. It was a stunning performance as the newcomers were the first team to prevent Leinster from reaching double figures in the Heineken Cup for 26 matches.

Buoyed by their impressive display in Dublin, head coach Baxter has resisted the temptation to tinker too much with his line-up.

Indeed, the Exeter coach has made just one change in personnel with Australian international Dean Mumm handed his first European start in place of James Hanks, who trades places with the second-row on the bench.

Exeter have won their last five European fixtures (in the Challenge Cup) at Sandy Park but Clermont have lost just one of their last five Heineken Cup encounters: 15-19 to Leinster in last season's semi-final.

"[Clermont] have got strength in different areas to Leinster," said Baxter.

"But what you have to remember as well is there were 11 or 12 internationals featuring in the Leinster team last week, so you're not talking about a shoddy Leinster side, and sometimes people forget that.

"Clermont we know have more internationals in their squad, but they still have to come to Sandy Park, they still have to endure the rigours of travelling over here, to a ground they've not played at before either. We know we are a good team at home, so if we make the game about ourselves, then that's what we will do.

"All week we've talked about being the team that attacks; being the team that has the ball; and seeing what we can get out of the game. Certainly we are going to attack the game, look to score tries and see what comes from it."

Heineken Cup betting odds

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 Tom Hayes, 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements:16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Chris Budgen, 18 Ben Moon, 19 James Hanks, 20 Ally Muldowney, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Elvis Vermeulen, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 David Skrela, 23 Benson Stanley.

Date: Saturday, October 20
Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter
Kick-off: 18:00 BST (17:00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey

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