Planet Rugby

Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Leinster

18th January 2013 07:39

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Ben Moon of Exeter Chiefs looks dejected after a narrow defeat to Leinster

Revenge: Ben Moon

Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has made two changes in his back division where injuries rule out both Phil Dollman and Gonzalo Camacho.

Into the side come Sireli Naqelevuki and Ian Whitten; whilst in the pack Aussie international Dean Mumm is given the nod over James Hanks in the second row.

On the bench, there are recalls also for flanker Ben White and utility back Nic Sestaret.

It would be a fantastic achievement if we could finish with a win, primarily because of the pressure Leinster are under pressure to come here and win and chase a bonus point," said Baxter.

"They will be coming here full-on, which is good for us, and the kind of scenario we want to play in.

"This has been a tough group for us this season, but we've won two out of five games so far, and I would love us to say at the end we've won three out of six. To get a statistic like that, especially in our first season in the Heineken Cup, would be a fantastic achievement and something for us to build from."

The English Premiership side only lost 9-6 when they two sides met in Dublin in the opening game of this Pool and they would relish the chance to become the side that knocked the champions out of the competition.

Meanwhile, Richardt Strauss is named in the starting line up after missing the last month with an ankle injury and, in all, the Ireland hooker is one of three changes to the pack which started last weekend's Round 5 victory.

Sean O'Brien has recovered from illness to join fellow returnee Kevin McLaughlin and Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in the back row. Strauss, meanwhile, is named in the front row alongside Cian Healy and Mike Ross who is set to make his 80th appearance for the province.

Leo Cullen leads the experienced line up which also sees Brian O'Driscoll resume his centre partnership with Gordon D'Arcy.

O'Driscoll - who is in line to make his 82nd Heineken Cup appearance after featuring off the bench in last weekend's bonus point victory over the Scarlets - is one of two further changes to the backline with Eoin Reddan selected to partner Jonathan Sexton at half back.

Rob Kearney continues in the back three alongside Luke Fitzgerald and Isa Nacewa.

The three-time Heineken Cup winners need all the points on offer to qualify as one of the two runners up for the knock-out stages for European club rugby's premier tournament.

Leinster are facing the prospect of missing out on a place in the last eight of the Heineken Cup for the first time in five years - they last failed to reach the quarter-finals back in 2008.

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 James Hanks, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Nic Sestaret.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke Van der Merwe, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Issac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden

Date: Saturday, 19 January
Venue: Sandy Park Stadium
Kick-off: 18:00 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Eric Soulan (France)
Television match official: Bernard Dal Maso (France)

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