Worcester Warriors v Exeter Premiership Preview

Worcester Warriors host Wasps at Sixways Stadium

Worcester Warriors have named David Lemi and Euan Murray in their starting line-up for this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Exeter Chiefs at Sixways.

Winger Lemi missed the win at Newcastle Falcons with injury but returns to the backline alongside Ryan Lamb, Ravai Fatiaki, Alex Grove and Josh Drauniniu, who is set for his 50th Warriors appearance.

Jonny Arr starts at scrum-half while Chris Pennell, who has played every minute of every league match this season, will again start at full-back.

Meanwhile, Murray lines up next to Ofa Fainga’anuku and Agustin Creevy in the front-row with James Percival and Mariano Galarza in the second-row.

Mike Williams will feature again at flanker next to Sam Betty and skipper Jonathan Thomas, while Paul Warwick returns to the replacements.

Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: “I’m not going to mess around and create opportunities at this stage of the season.

“We have given people chances but there won’t be anyone coming from the outside now. We will stick with this group.

“Exeter beat us convincingly at their place despite us having a lot of the ball, and in the LV= Cup at Sixways we gave some players some game-time and we weren’t at the races.

“We got a great response after that and we’ve been on a good run since that in terms of being competitive week-in week-out.

“We had a huge confidence boost two weeks ago, we’re fresh and this gives us every chance of getting something.”

Worcester Warriors 22 game losing run in Aviva Premiership Rugby ended at Newcastle in round 18.

The Warriors are now attempting back to back wins in the tournament for the first time since January 2012.

Exeter Chiefs only victory in their last eight Premiership encounters was 18-0 at home to London Irish in round 16.

The Devonians have not won on the road in the tournament since they visited Sale on 1st November.

Exeter have won their last six matches against the Warriors in all tournaments since Worcester beat the Chiefs in National One at the County Ground in March 2004.

Exeter Chiefs Rob Baxter has re-jigged his pack pack as Alex Brown comes in at tight-head for Hoani Tui, Don Armand makes his first Premiership start in the second-row alongside Damian Welch, and skipper Dean Mumm is switched to the back-row in place of Tom Johnson.

Behind, the experienced Steenson takes over at fly-half; Sam Hill partners Ian Whitten in the midfield and the back three has a new-look with Matt Jess joined by Fetu’u Vainikolo and Phil Dollman; whilst on the bench, Craig Mitchell and James Phillips also return to the fray.

Match : Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs
Date : Saturday 12 April
Venue : Sixways
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N/A
Match Officials
Referee
: JP Doyle (75th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff and Ashley Rowden.
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Warriors

15 Chris Pennell , 14 Josh Drauniniu , 13 Alex Grove , 12 Ravai Fatiaki , 11 David Lemi , 10 Ryan Lamb , 9 Jonny Arr , 1 Ofa Fainga’anuku , 2 Agustin Creevy , 3 Euan Murray , 4 James Percival , 5 Mariano Galarza , 6 Mike Williams , 7 Sam Betty , 8 Jonathan Thomas (C)

Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington , 17 Paul Andrew , 18 Rob O’Donnell , 19 Semisi Taulava , 20 Richard de Carpentier , 21 Paul Hodgson , 22 Paul Warwick , 23 Andy Symons

Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman , 14 Fetu’u Vainikolo , 13 Ian Whitten , 12 Sam Hill , 11 Matt Jess , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Dave L

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