Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Exeter

26th December 2011 15:14

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steven shingler london irish 2011

At 10 for Exiles: Steve Shingler

London Irish boss Toby Booth has made three changes to his back-line for Tuesday's Aviva Premiership visit of Exeter after last week's disastrous home defeat to Racing Metro.

Steve Shingler is named at fly-half in place of Adrian Jarvis, and Topsy Ojo's return on the right wing means Tom Homer moves to the other flank.

Shontayne Hape returns to the midfield in place of Jonathan Spratt and he partners Joe Ansbro and the one change to the pack sees Richard Thorpe reinstalled at No 8.

Meanwhile, Exeter coach Rob Baxter has made four changes to his starting line-up as the Chiefs aim for a first ever win over London Irish.

The Exiles are one of only two teams Exeter are yet to beat since their arrival to the top flight - Bath are the other - and they are in excellent form having won five on the spin in all competitions, their most recent victory being over the Dragons in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Hoani Tui comes in at loosehead for Brett Sturgess, whilst James Scaysbrook - who sat out both Amlin games against the Welsh region - returns at flanker in place of Ben White.

In the backs Haydn Thomas is recalled to the No 9 shirt at Pat Phibbs' expense, whilst Argentinian flyer Gonzalo Camacho comes in for Josh Tatupu on the wing.

Form: London Irish have won just one of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches: 21-17 at home to London Wasps in round nine, this victory is also the Exiles only one at Madejski Stadium in their last four games in all competitions. Exeter Chiefs are on a run of five successive wins in all competitions, including victories in their last two encounters away from Sandy Park, at Sale and Newport Gwent Dragons. London Irish have won all four competitive matches they have played against the Chiefs, with all four games being played at different venues: The Avenue, County Ground, Sandy Park and Madejski Stadium.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Tom Homer, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody (c).
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Bob Casey, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Adam Thompstone, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Nic Sestaret, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 James Phillips, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Richard Baxter, 5 Chris Bentley, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Hoani Tui.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 John Andress, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Jason Shoemark.

Referee: Dean Richards

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