Exeter v Northampton - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last Updated: 05/01/13 12:41pm

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Exeter boss Rob Baxter has been forced to alter his starting line-up for Saturday's Premiership clash with Northampton at Sandy Park.

Ben Moon comes into the number one jersey, for former Northampton prop Brett Sturgess - who broke his arm in last weekend's 12-12 draw with Bath - while alongside him at hooker Neil Clark also starts in place of Simon Alcott.

Among the other changes to the pack are Ben White and Tom Johnson recalled into the back-row, while James Hanks steps up to partner Dean Mumm in the Exeter engine room.

In the back-line, the solitary change sees Ian Whitten brought into the midfield in place of Jason Shoemark.

Meanwhile, Jim Mallinder, Saints director of rugby, has made three changes to starting XV that lost 17-16 to Saracens last weekend.

All the changes come in the forwards. Calum Clark comes in for Tom Wood at blindside flank, Paul Doran Jones takes over from the injured Brian Mujati at tighthead prop and Mark Sorenson replaces Samu Manoa at lock.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter (capt), 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Ben Moon.

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Tom Hayes, 20 Aly Muldowney, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga''uiha.

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.

What they said...

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder

"Exeter like to play a good 15-man game. We know how tough it is there and will have to be accurate in everything we do.

"We were a point away from winning away against the 2nd placed team in the league. That was positive, but we know that not many teams win in Exeter and we'll have to play well on Saturday.

"It's a very important game, but so is every game in the Aviva Premiership. They're in a similar position to us in the table and we'll have to play well to win.

"We've had some tough games which haven't gone our way. But we're still confident and know that what counts is where you finish at the end of the season."

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