Exeter Chiefs and Toulouse keep changes to a minimum

Date published: September 25 2020

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter has made just one change to his starting XV for Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final with Toulouse at Sandy Park.

The sole alteration to the starting line-up sees Scottish international back-rower Sam Skinner come in for South African Jacques Vermeulen on the openside flank, while on the bench Dave Dennis and Don Armand are included with Jannes Kirsten the man to make way.

The rest of the back-row comprises Sam Simmonds, who starts at number eight, and Dave Ewers while Jonny Hill and Jonny Gray pack down in the second-row. In the front-row, Luke Cowan-Dickie starts at hooker alongside props Harry Williams and Alec Hepburn.

In the backline, Joe Simmonds and Jack Maunder form the half-back partnership with Simmonds also captaining the side while Ian Whitten and Henry Slade are the centre combination.

Stuart Hogg lines up at full-back and he is joined in the back three by wings Jack Nowell and Tom O’Flaherty.

Meanwhile, Toulouse have also made just one change to their run-on side after last weekend’s quarter-final triumph over Ulster. That comes at hooker where Julien Marchand takes over from Peato Mauvaka, who drops down to the replacements bench.

Marchand is joined in the front-row by experienced props Charlie Faumuina and Cyril Baille with Rory Arnold and Joe Tekori continuing as the second-row duo.

Former All Black Jerome Kaino captains the side from the blindside flank with Francois Cros starting on the other side of the scrum and Selevasio Tolofua packing down at number eight.

Romain Ntamack continues at fly-half while Antoine Dupont wears the number nine jersey, and Pita Ahki and Sofiane Guitoune are the midfield combination. The back three sees Thomas Ramos lining up at full-back while Cheslin Kolbe and Yoann Huget are the two wings.

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom Oโ€™Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Sam Skinner, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ollie Devoto

Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Selevasio Tolofua, 7 Francois Cros, 6 Jerome Kaino (c), 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Alban Placines, 20 Louis Madaule, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Matthis Lebel

Date:ย Saturday, September 26
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:30 BST (14:30 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)