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Preview: Exeter v Worcester

02nd November 2012 07:55

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SKY_MOBILE Ed Shervington

Ed Shervington: First start of the season

Worcester coach Richard Hill has rung the changes for his side's clash with the Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.

Hill has made a total of five changes to the team that defeated Sale Sharks 23-16 on home soil last week.

In the front row, hooker Ed Shervington and prop Ceri Jones are both handed their first starts of the league campaign.

Elsewhere in the pack, Dean Schofield returns to captain the team in the second row while Chris Jones is rewarded for his good form off the bench last time out with a starting berth at the back of the scrum.

There is one change in the back division where dynamic wing Josh Drauniniu makes a welcome return to action. Drauniniu will face his former club alongside centre Josh Matavesi who also makes a first appearance.

Matt Mullan is named among the replacements after spending time in the England training camp this week.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us to climb the table at Exeter. They're one point ahead of us in the league but it will be a very tough match. I'm a big admirer of what they have achieved and the club," said Hill.

"In their last two Aviva Premiership home games they've beaten Harlequins and Saracens so they're not very easy to beat at Sandy Park. We know how tough a game it will be for us.

"They've lost their last three games in all competitions though so one or two doubts might start to creep in their heads. They'll be thinking they've got to beat us and they'll have a bit of pressure on them so we've got to try and capitalise on any uncertainty."

The Chiefs came up short against Bath last week and are looking to arrest a slide that has seen them lose their last three encounters. Despite the poor run of form, assistant coach Ali Hepher insists that it's not all doom and gloom for Exeter.

"Mentally I don't think we were quite there in that first half last week," admitted Hepher.

"However, it showed in the second half, when we were on our game, that we can cause sides a lot of trouble. You could argue we could - and possibly should - have scored more tries in that second half, but generally we were pleased with that performance and with the way we have been performing recently.

"Now we hope to have a continuation of that this weekend in what we know will be another tough game against Worcester. All week we've emphasised to the guys that they need to turn up in the right frame of mind to get anything out of the game. As always we've tweaked parts of our game based on the opposition, but the main aim will be for us to continue making Sandy Park a tough place to come and play and making sure our mental approach is right coming into the game."

The dangerous Sireli Naqelevuki returns to the Exeter line-up in place of the injured Jason Shoemark in one of four changes to the team that lost to Bath.

The three further changes are all in the pack with Chris Whitehead replacing Simon Alcott at hooker while Aly Muldowney joins skipper Tom Hayes in the second row. With Tom Johnson on international duty, Dean Mumm switches to the flank.

Form: Exeter Chiefs have suffered three successive defeats in all competitions. The Chiefs are the only side who remain with a 100% home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season. Worcester Warriors have won their last three games in all competitions. The Warriors have won just once on the road in the Premiership since April 2009: 6-0 at London Wasps on New Year's Day 2012. Exeter have taken both previous Premiership encounters between the two clubs, whilst Worcester's last win over Exeter was 25-14 at the County Ground in National One on 20 March 2004.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas,8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark,17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 James Hanks, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Jones, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Dean Schofield (c), 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 James Currie, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

Date:Saturday, November 3
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Referee: David Rose

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
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Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
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International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
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International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
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Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821