Planet Rugby

Preview: London Welsh v Exeter

14th September 2012 10:24

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Ignaci Mieres Exeter v Sale

Ignacio Mieres: Directing Exeter

London Welsh coach Lyn Jones makes just one change to his starting line-up for Sunday's clash with Exeter Chiefs.

Nick Scott, who scored seven tries in twelve Championship appearances for the Exiles last term after joining the club on loan from Bath, comes in for Joe Ajuwa on the wing, with Scott's place on the bench taken by James Lewis.

The only other change sees Jonah Holmes, a try-scorer against Harlequins in the sides' Aviva A League meeting, return to the London Welsh matchday 23 in place of Nick Runciman.

Sunday could also throw up a bit of sibling rivalry with London Welsh full-back Tom Arscott set to head-to-head with Exeter back and brother Luke.

Sunday will be the sides' first meeting since Exeter's 2009/10 promotion season - the inaugural season of the Championship. A 13-9 defeat at Sandy Park during the regular season was reversed by the Exiles at Old Deer Park, 12-10, thanks to Guy Mercer's last-gasp try and Gordon Ross' conversion.

The sides met again in that season's play-offs with the Exiles going down 32-6 at Sandy Park, before extracting revenge, 16-15, in the return game, which was played at Esher.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs head into Sunday's encounter having to make one enforced change to their starting line-up as winger Josh Tatupu has been ruled out through injury.

The Samoan international broke his ankle early in the second half of the game at Franklin's Gardens, so Fijian star Sireli Naqelevuki is promoted from the bench to start in the centre with Irishman Ian Whitten shifting to the wing.

The other change in personnel to the starting XV sees James Hanks come back into the second-row at the expense of Aly Muldowney, who fills the void left by Hanks on the bench. There Muldowney will be joined by two newcomers in the shape of Jack Nowell and Carl Rimmer, both of whom will make their first-ever Premiership appearances if summoned.

As always Baxter is keen to reward those who shine, both on the field and in training, and although the Chiefs suffered their first setback of the campaign last weekend, the head coach saw enough encouraging signs from his troops in the heat of battle to stick with a tried-and-trusted formula.

"We've said from the very outset this season that we look to hit every game flat out and take whatever comes from it," said Baxter.

"What came last weekend was a losing bonus point. Obviously we would have liked more from the game, but I am not going to fault our effort and endeavour on the day.

"Looking back at the game, we got a couple of things tactically wrong on the day that hurt us, particularly in the first and last quarter, but for a second game of the season it was a great game to work on and improve the side.

"Sometimes you need those types of game - I know it sounds strange - but say we had scored a try in that last passage of play to win the game, probably a few things would have got papered over that were genuine issues for us. In the end we came up a bit short, but we've dealt with those issues this week and now we will look to improve again."

Form: Aviva Premiership Rugby new boys London Welsh have begun with two defeats to last season's Premiership finalists - Leicester and Harlequins. Exeter Chiefs were narrowly defeated at Northampton on Sunday following their round one home victory over Sale. The Chiefs have won just one of their last four away games in all competitions: 31-26 at Worcester in the Premiership on 14 April. This is the two clubs first ever clash in the Premiership, but they have been regular adversaries in the lower leagues over the years. The four most recent encounters (all in season 2009/10) were all won by the home side on the day.

The teams:

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Hudson Tonga'uiha, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Mike Denbee, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Matt Corker, 4 Jonathan Mills (capt), 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Frank Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Kirill Kulemin, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Jonah Holmes, 22 James Lewis, 23 Seb Jewell.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 James Phillips, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Jack Nowell.

Date: Sunday, September 16
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Kassam Stadium
Referee: David Pearson
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Small
Timekeeper: Tony Turner
Assessor: Christopher White

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