Exeter Chiefs v Bath Premiership Previews

Exeter Chiefs’ only defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions was 3-31 at home to Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 5 February.

The Chiefs won their most recent game at Sandy Park but have not managed successive Aviva Premiership Rugby wins at the venue since September.

Bath Rugby’s four game winning run ended at home to local rivals Gloucester on Saturday. Bath’s last away game was also at Sandy Park when their 31-3 win on that occasion in the Anglo-Welsh Cup ended a six game losing run on the road.

Exeter’s only previous competitive win against Bath came in the 1st round of the John Player Cup at the old County Ground in January 1978.

Matt Carraro returns to the starting line-up for Bath at outside centre, with Olly Barkley on the inside.

Matt Banahan shifts to the right wing, with Tom Biggs, who scored a hat trick on Bath’s last visit to Sandy Park, starting on the left. Sam Vesty lines-up at fullback, as Tom Heathcote and Michael Claassens continue their half-back partnership.

There is just one change in the forwards, with Dave Attwood coming back into the second row to partner Ryan Caldwell. Nathan Catt and Anthony Perenise scrum down either side of Lee Mears in the front row, and Ben Skirving, Francois Louw and Simon Taylor complete the pack.

There is also a return to the matchday squad for the first time since September for Carl Fearns, who is named amongst the replacements.

Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has made make two changes to his starting XV as Chris Whitehead comes in at hooker for Neil Clark, whilst Peter Short – a summer signing from Bath – takes over in the second row from Aly Muldowney.

Short is one of three former Bath players in the home ranks, joining Clark and James Scaysbrook.

Match : Exeter Chiefs v Bath
Date : Saturday 25th February
Venue :Sandy Park
Kick Off : 6pm
Referee: David Rose (98th Premiership game)


Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman , 14 Gonzalo Camacho , 13 Nic Sestaret , 12 Jason Shoemark , 11 Matt Jess , 10 Ignacio Mieres , 9 Haydn Thomas , 1 Hoani Tui , 2 Chris Whitehead , 3 Craig Mitchell , 4 Tom Hayes (capt) , 5 Peter Short , 6 Tom Johnson , 7 James Scaysbrook , 8 Richard Baxter

16 Neil Clark , 17 Chris Budgen , 18 John Andress , 19 Aly Muldowney , 20 James Phillips , 21 Kevin Barrett , 22 Gareth Steenson , 23 Bryan Rennie


15. Sam Vesty , 14. Matt Banahan , 13. Matt Carraro , 12. Olly Barkley , 11. Tom Biggs , 10. Tom Heathcote , 9. Michael Claassens , 1. Nathan Catt , 2. Lee Mears , 3. Anthony Perenise , 4. Dave Attwood , 5. Ryan Caldwell , 6. Ben Skirving , 7. Francois Louw (c) , 8. Simon Taylor

Replacements:16. Ross Batty , 17. Charlie Beech , 18. Duncan Bell , 19. Guy Mercer , 20. Carl Fearns , 21. Chris Cook , 22. Olly Woodburn , 23. Jack Cuthbert

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