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 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00