Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Premiership Preview

Exeter Chiefs have slipped to three straight defeats in Aviva Premiership Rugby, whilst their only loss in their last five matches at Sandy Park was 13-17 to Saracens in the Premiership on 1 October.


Gloucester Rugby have recorded just one win in their last four games in all competitions: 58-27 at home to Sale in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Gloucester are winless in their last nine away encounters since they beat Northampton 18-16 at Franklin’s Gardens on 26 February.


Each side won its respective home game when the two clubs met last season.


Having made his first appearance of the season for Gloucester as a replacement against Saracens last weekend, centre Mike Tindall will start at Sandy Park.


Tindall comes in for Henry Trinder who is named amongst the replacements while Tom Voyce replaces Jonny May in the only changes to the side that narrowly lost to the Men in Black at Kingsholm last Saturday.


Gloucester were in the lead during that match until the 75th minute when Brad Barritt’s try snatched the points and Head Coach Bryan Redpath keeps faith with the majority of the line up that pushed the champions all the way.


“We have to carry the same intensity into the game that we had last Saturday.” said Redpath.


“We’re away from home and won’t have as many of our fans there as normal so it’s down to us as staff and player to get our mindset right for the game.”


Rob Baxter is expecting fireworks, quite literally, when his Exeter Chiefs team take to the field but has played down the derby factor.


“It’s another big game for us,” he said. “I’m not going to say it’s a big Westcountry derby just yet because I don’t think we can say that just yet, simply because we’ve not been in the Premiership long enough.


“So far this year – with the exception of Northampton away – we’ve managed to do that. This weekend, though, the pressure will be on us again to get out there in what will be a very tough game.


The Chiefs have already slipped to one defeat at home already this season to Saracens – and the reigning Premiership champions brought to an end Gloucester’s 22-match winning run at Kingsholm when they dramatically won 19-17 last Saturday.


“They will be disappointed, they build their season year after year on a very good home record,” Baxter warned. “It was a really tough physical encounter (against Saracens), they gave a lot in every collision and we are going to have to match that.


“They’ll be smarting after last weekend and also after last year as well so they’ll have a point to prove coming here. That said, so have we. We’ve lost our last couple of Premiership games so we want to play very well, get on the front foot and make a good start to the game.


Baxter’s options ahead of kick-off have been boosted by the fact that summer signings Craig Mitchell and Gonzalo Camacho have now both arrived at the club following their exertions at the World Cup in New Zealand. Both men featured in Monday’s A League win at Bath and did enough to convince Baxter that they should be included in the match-day 23 tomorrow.


Indeed, with the exception of Peter Short (broken leg), the Chiefs are selecting from virtually full-strength, much to the delight of their leader.


“Having these guys back has made things interesting, but that’s what you want.”


Other changes to the Exeter line-up from that which went down narrowly at league leaders Harlequins last Saturday see Steenson and Pat Phibbs – who earlier this week agreed to stay with the club until the end of the season – team up in a new half-back pairing in place of Ignacio Mieres and Haydn Thomas, whilst up front Neil Clark and Hoani Tui come into the front-row for Chris Whitehead and John Andress.


The Bookies have given Gloucester a 1 point start for this match which is an away match for them.&nb

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