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Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last updated: 29th September 2012  

Tom Johnson Exeter Chiefs

Tom Johnson: Returns to the Exeter line-up

Dan Bowden

Dan Bowden: Will make his first appearance for Leicester

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Dan Bowden will make his debut for Leicester in today's Aviva Premiership clash against Exeter at Welford Road.

The New Zealander made the switch from London Irish in the summer but has had to wait until the round five fixture to make his first start.

Bowden is one of four changes of personnel for the Tigers, with the other three all coming in the pack.

Thomas Waldrom, George Chuter and Logovi'i Mulipola all start, with a further positional switch seeing captain Jordan Crane start at blindside flanker.

Exeter have made just two changes to their starting XV following the 14-12 win over Saracens.

With flanker James Phillips facing a lengthy spell out injured, England international Tom Johnson comes back in.

In the backs, Jason Shoemark preferred to Phil Dollman - with Ian Whitten moving to the wing.

Dollman remains in the squad, though, and replaces Mark Foster on the bench.

Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 George Chuter, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Graham Kitchener, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Jordan Crane (c), 7 Julian Salvi, 8 Thomas Waldrom. Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 Patrick Phibbs, 22 George Ford, 23 Adam Thompstone

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 1 Brett Sturgess, 2 Chris Whitehead, 3 Carl Rimmer, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 5 James Hanks, 6 Tom Johnson, 7 James Scaysbrook, 8 Richard Baxter. Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Phil Dollman

What they said...

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill

"We've all been very honest about the performance against Harlequins last week and the only way we know to correct that is to work hard in training and to front-up again on Saturday.

"Exeter had an excellent win last week and they are a team to be respected. They're tough opponents and they've added to their game again this season.

"We've played some decent rugby in the season so far and we've been resilient in defence but we need to be more accurate and composed on the ball."

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter

"We have had some success there in the past, but Leicester lost their last weekend, so it's always nice to go and play Leicester just after they have lost!

"It is going to be a fantastic test of our attitude and our commitment to play, but that's what the Premiership is all about.

"We do enjoy going to Leicester because it is a fantastic place to play rugby, with a fantastic crowd in a fantastic sporting arena, and playing against a team who have been one of the best sides in Europe for a long time.

"If you don't want to play in a game that could bring the best out of you, you shouldn't really be involved in this."

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