Aviva Premiership preview: Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Last Updated: 06/10/13 2:07pm

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Round five of the Aviva Premiership comes to a close on Sunday afternoon as Exeter Chiefs travel to Kingsholm to face Gloucester.

Gloucester return home looking to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season after their 22-16 triumph over Newcastle last week; while the Chiefs seek to regain form having suffered a 21-9 defeat at the hands of defending champions Leicester Tigers.

Both sides have won two and lost two of their opening four top-flight clashes but the Chiefs boast an impressive record on the road, with just one defeat in their last five trips away from Sandy Park.

Rob Baxter's Chiefs have the upper hand in recent meetings having won two of the three encounters last term, including a thrilling 40-39 victory at Sandy Park in May.

Ahead of Sunday's showdown, Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has made six changes to the side which prevailed at Kingston Park last time out.

Second row James Hudson is set to make his debut in the Cherry and White, while props Yann Thomas and Rupert Harden are both promoted from the bench this week.


Veteran centre Mike Tindall comes in to replace the injured Henry Trinder and Tavis Knoyle gets the nod at No 9 as Davies continues to rotate his scrum-halves. The final change to the backline sees Martyn Thomas don the No 15 jersey for the first time this season.

Meanwhile, Chiefs scrum-half Dave Lewis lines up against his former club as one of four changes to the Exeter side which lost in round four.

The 24-year-old, who spent six years at Kingsholm before his switch to Exeter, comes in to replace Haydn Thomas in the half-backs.

Other changes see Chris Whitehead and Ben White come into the pack at the expense of Jack Yeandle and James Scaysbrook, whilst the inclusion of Matt Jess on the right wing means Ian Whitten moves to partner Sam Hill in the centres.

Both sides will be desperate for the win before their attention turns to the continent as they embark upon their respective Heineken Cup campaigns next weekend.

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Savage (capt), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Jonny May, 23 Akapusi Qera.

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui (capt), 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

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