Planet Rugby

Preview: Exeter v Bath

03rd February 2012 09:22

Share:

Ben Moon Exeter v Harlequins 2011

Ben Moon: Returns from injury

Exeter Chiefs may head into Sunday's LV= Cup clash with Bath not knowing whether they will make the semi-finals, but for coach Rob Baxter the task ahead remains the same.

With his side on a four-game winning streak, Baxter is keen not only for his team to maintain their unbeaten record, but also to gain some additional momentum as the Chiefs prepare to return to Aviva Premiership action in just over a week's time.

Of course league matters remain the 'bread and butter' for the Chiefs, but showing further progression in other competitions is never a bad thing and Baxter knows his players could yet seal a play-off spot in the LV= Cup if they beat Bath and results elsewhere go in their favour.

"It's an interesting one really," explained Baxter.

"As regards to qualification, we will probably know where we stand before kick-off on Sunday, which in itself is unusual.

"It could be out of our hands (should Northampton claim maximum points against Wasps on Saturday), but we are not going to know for a little while yet.

With vital games on the horizon and Baxter keen to utilise his whole first team squad, it comes as little surprise that the Chiefs have once again opted for a healthy mix of youth and experience in their ranks for the clash with Bath.

"It's important that we look at all aspects of the squad," explained Baxter.

"At the moment we have a relatively fit squad and with rugby players they want to play rugby.

"Sometimes that is the hardest thing to manage, giving them all game time, but we've managed to do it well over the last month or so.

"As I said, everyone is fit, everyone is up and running and hopefully we can keep playing with some form."

James Hanks, who only returned to first team duty during last weekend's win at London Wasps following a knee injury, will skipper a Chiefs side that sees Ben Moon return to the fold after injury, as well as first starts of the season for Chris Budgen, Junior Poluleuligaga and Academy youngster Jack Arnott.

Winger Arnott, a debutant off the bench at Adams Park last time out, comes into a re-jigged Exeter back line that see Myles Dorrian take over at fly-half from Gareth Steenson, whilst Samoan star Poluleuligaga is given the nod at nine ahead of Pat Phibbs.

Up front, Moon and Budgen take over from Luke Cowan-Dickie and Craig Mitchell - both of whom are on international duty - whilst Chad Slade is another returning after injury at No.8 in place of James Phillips.

Baxter admits he is delighted to see so many of his squad back up and running, whilst the inclusion of a number of Academy starlets is yet another positive for the Exeter leader.

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Mark Foster, 13 Bryan Rennie, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Jack Arnott, 10 Myles Dorrian, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Chad Slade, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 James Hanks (c), 4 Peter Short, 3 Chris Budgen, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Rogers, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Chris Bentley, 20 Sam Blanchet, 21 Pat Phibbs, 22 Sam Jones, 23 James Lightfoot-Brown.

Bath: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Ben Skirving, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Nick Scott, 23 Richard Lane.

Date: Sunday, February 5
Kick-off: 17:00
Venue: Sandy Park

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26