Exeter Chiefs v Bath - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last updated: 29th December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Matt Banahan Bath Aviva Premiership

Matt Banahan: Will partner Kyle Eastmond in the centres

Tom Hayes London Irish v Exeter

Tom Hayes: Returns to the Exeter line-up

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Exeter have made just the two changes to their line-up for the visit of Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

Club captain Tom Hayes is restored to the pack, while Phil Dollman is added to the centres.

That means James Hanks and Ian Whitten both drop to the bench, where they are joined by England international Tom Johnson.

Bath have made five changes for the derby clash - with Matt Banahan, Ben Skirving, Ryan Caldwell, and Dave Attwood all returning to action, while Ollie Devoto makes his first Premiership start.

Banahan will form a new-look centre partnership with Kyle Eastmond, while Devoto is handed the No 15 jersey.

Attwood and Caldwell will team up in the second row, while Skirving starts at No 8.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 James Hanks, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Kyle Eastmond, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Dan Hipkiss.

What they said...

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter

"It should be a great occasion, it's been a sell-out for quite a while now. These local Christmas derbies are the best atmospheres of the season - not only are they big crowds but people are there to celebrate and have a good time.

"We have to get the crowd involved, play in a way that they want to get behind and get them cheering the guys on. We're hunting something very positive, a first win against Bath, and that's what we'll talk about.

"I've always said what's happening at Exeter has to be a relatively long-term thing and it's important to get a group of people learning from different experiences and different challenges and knocking them off one at a time. It doesn't matter when you knock them off, you've just got to keep knocking them off on a fairly regular basis.

"Beating Bath is one of the things we need to knock off down the line. Whether it's this weekend or another time, who knows? But what we've got to do is keep getting better and make sure, down the line, we are making things happen."

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