Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Exeter Chiefs

26th October 2012 10:33

Share:

Carl Fearns in action for Bath

Back in: Carl Fearns

Bath will be looking to build on their back-to-back Amlin Challenge Cup wins this weekend as they return to Premiership action against Exeter.

Carl Fearns returns to the starting Bath line-up, teaming up with Francois Louw and Ben Skirving in the back-row, as Dominic Day and Dave Attwood continue in the engine room.

Paul James and David Wilson, selected in the Wales and England squads respectively for November, pack down either side of Lee Mears.

Try-scorers against Agen, Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald renew their half-back partnership. Another try-scorer from that game, Kyle Eastmond, lines up on the wing with Tom Biggs on the opposite side. Ben Williams and Dan Hipkiss start in the centres, as Nick Abendanon completes the line-up at full-back.

There are also two notable additions to the bench, as club captain Stuart Hooper makes his first appearance since the game against Sale Sharks four weeks ago, and Horacio Agulla could make his first appearance after completing his international duty with Argentina in the Rugby Championship.

"Exeter have had a run of really hard games, and they will be smarting after the two losses in the Heineken Cup and looking to get back on track," said Forwards Coach Neal Hatley.

"They work harder for each other than most and get good reward from it. We're under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge that awaits us on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Exeter boss Rob Baxter has recalled Australian international Dean Mumm - who was forced to miss last weekend's game because of family reasons - who returns in the second-row in place of club captain Tom Hayes.

On the wing Argentine speedster Gonzalo Camacho makes his first appearance of the season as he gets the nod over Ulsterman Ian Whitten.

Whitten is joined on the bench by scrum-half Kevin Barrett, who comes in for the injured Will Chudley, whilst Academy product Dave Ewers offers options in the back-row.

"We've had a nice, energetic training week and we've seemed to have flown through the whole week," explained Baxter.

"You can see the boys are keen to get back into action and get after these games. We've enjoyed the period we have been through so far, but we're keen to keep moving forward. Yes, they've been tough games, but we've enjoyed it and I think getting into Bath away, another tough fixture, and one which we can't say we have performed all that well in before, it's represents another great challenge for us.

"They [Bath] are doing well; they are in the top half of the league; they've had a couple of good wins in the Amlin and they're very confident right now, so that makes them a dangerous side."

Form: Bath Rugby have won three of their last four games in all competitions, but have been victorious just once in their last four Aviva Premiership encounters: 31-10 at home to Sale in round five. Bath's only reversal in their last four clashes at The Rec was 14-18 to table topping Northampton on 14 September. Exeter Chiefs have won two of their last three matches in the Premiership, but have slipped to five straight defeats away from home in all competitions since beating Worcester 31-26 at Sixways on 14 April. Exeter have not beaten Bath in a competitive game since a 1st round tie at the County Ground in the John Player Cup on 28 January 1978.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 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 James Hanks, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Date: Saturday, October 27
Kick-off: 14:30 BST
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe
Television match official: Geoffrey Warren
Timekeeper: Laurie Bryant

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058