Aviva Premiership: Dave Ewers returns to Exeter side to face Leicester

Last Updated: 29/09/13 2:46pm

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Dave Ewers: Returns to Exeter side to face Leicester

Dave Ewers: Returns to Exeter side to face Leicester

Sky Bet

Exeter coach Rob Baxter has made one change to his starting XV as Dave Ewers returns to the side at number eight for Sunday's clash with second-placed Leicester.

Ewers' return, after missing last weekend's 29-23 win at London Irish with a slight tweak in his hamstring, sees Tom Johnson revert back to the blindside position.

Try-scorer Ben White drops to the bench following the inclusion of Ewers and the experienced Kai Horstmann is the unlucky man to miss out.

The Tigers, like the Chiefs, have recorded two wins from three starts so far this term and will arrive in Devon looking to keep pace with unbeaten leaders Saracens at the summit.

Ready to meet that threat head will be the West Country outfit who, according to coach Baxter, have yet to hit top form in the Premiership.

"I am never critical of the players when we get out there and we go for it and play hard," said Baxter.

"That said, we haven't really put periods of momentum play together for long spells to say we are really happy with things. In some ways that's a nice place to be as we feel there is more coming all the time and that it's still early in the season.

"Eight points from your first three games is a really good foundation to push on from and it's similar to how we have started seasons in the past, so I am comfortable with where we are. Now, though, we have to build on that foundation, collect some points - I don't mind how we get them - and just make sure we are comfortable with our level of performance.

"The truth is the best teams aren't at their best right now, this is the time when they bed in and get better, so that's what we have to do, which is bed in and get better."

Return

Meanwhile, vice-captains Louis Deacon and Anthony Allen return to the Leicester line-up.

Deacon, who made his 250th appearance for the reigning champions in the opening-day win over Worcester, sat out the fixtures against Bath and Newcastle but is fit to return to the pack.

Allen will make his 100th starting appearance for Tigers since joining the club in 2009.

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill also recalls Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Julian Salvi and Niall Morris to the starting line-up this week after rotation for the Falcons fixture.

Cockerill has confirmed that Manu Tuilagi suffered a chest muscle injury in the bonus-point win over Newcastle last week but will not require surgery. Vereniki Goneva moves to centre in his absence and Blaine Scully is on the wing as Morris returns at full-back.

In Sunday's other game, experienced international Mike Blair returns to Newcastle's starting line-up for the clash with Gloucester at Kingston Park.

The Falcons nine, who joined the club in the off-season, is one of four changes to the side that lost 31-6 with the Tigers last weekend.

Blair replaces Warren Fury, while there is a new-look front-row with hooker Matt Thompson and tighthead Oliver Tomaszczyk getting the nod alongside Franck Montanella. Ally Hogg starts at eight in place of Chris York, who is on the bench.

Gloucester travel to the North East on the back of their last gasp 26-24 victory over Northampton Saints and boss Nigel Davies makes four changes to his line-up.

Jonny May gets his first start of the season on the left wing. James Simpson-Daniel moves across to the right wing with Charlie Sharples named on the bench for the away game.

The other changes are in the pack with Shaun Knight, Will James and Ben Morgan all coming into the line-up. Knight and James are also making their first starts of the season.

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