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Exeter v London Irish - Aviva Premiership match preview
- Diamond: safety secured
- O'Shea: We'll scrap for title
- McCall unhappy with Matavesi
- Baxter: Heineken hopes alive
- Sale v Gloucester: Teams
- Saracens v Worcester: Teams
- Leicester v Wasps: Teams
- Welsh v Northampton: Teams
- Sharks scent safety at last
- Quins end losing streak
- Saints defeat sends Welsh down
- Sarries battle past Warriors
- Exeter power past London Irish
Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Sandy Park.
Brett Sturgess returns in the front row at the expense of Carl Rimmer, whilst Ben White is given the nod over Dave Ewers in the back row.
With the Chiefs still in contention for a play-off berth, motivation will not be an issue, neither should fitness within the home camp after the Chiefs were without a game last weekend following their exit from Europe.
Meanwhile, Jebb Sinclair and Topsy Ojo will both line up for London Irish this weekend.
Flanker Sinclair returns to the run-on side along with wing Ojo, who was rested for the Exiles' last Aviva Premiership fixture against Sale Sharks.
Leo Halavatau starts on the tighthead and Darren Allinson will partner Ian Humphreys in the halves. Alex Corbisiero returns from injury to be named as a replacement.
Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter (c), 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11, Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18Halani Aulika, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Jonathan Joseph, 22 Marland Yarde, 23 Jack Moates.
What they said...
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter
"They [Irish] have been involved in a bit of a dog fight all season, where every point's vital. We know they are a very good side and pose a lot of danger to us, but I've got to expect our motivation to be very high because of the potential things we're fighting for. All I want to see is a group of highly-motivated players playing as well as they can. You can't ask for too much more than that."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Exeter are a good side and very tough at Sandy Park. We have had an extra week to prepare for this match and we're looking forward to the challenge down there."
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|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com