Exeter Chiefs v Bath - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 29/12/12 2:13pm
Exeter have made just the two changes to their line-up for the visit of Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.
Club captain Tom Hayes is restored to the pack, while Phil Dollman is added to the centres.
That means James Hanks and Ian Whitten both drop to the bench, where they are joined by England international Tom Johnson.
Bath have made five changes for the derby clash - with Matt Banahan, Ben Skirving, Ryan Caldwell, and Dave Attwood all returning to action, while Ollie Devoto makes his first Premiership start.
Banahan will form a new-look centre partnership with Kyle Eastmond, while Devoto is handed the No 15 jersey.
Attwood and Caldwell will team up in the second row, while Skirving starts at No 8.
Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 James Hanks, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.
Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Kyle Eastmond, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Dan Hipkiss.
What they said...
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter
"It should be a great occasion, it's been a sell-out for quite a while now. These local Christmas derbies are the best atmospheres of the season - not only are they big crowds but people are there to celebrate and have a good time.
"We have to get the crowd involved, play in a way that they want to get behind and get them cheering the guys on. We're hunting something very positive, a first win against Bath, and that's what we'll talk about.
"I've always said what's happening at Exeter has to be a relatively long-term thing and it's important to get a group of people learning from different experiences and different challenges and knocking them off one at a time. It doesn't matter when you knock them off, you've just got to keep knocking them off on a fairly regular basis.
"Beating Bath is one of the things we need to knock off down the line. Whether it's this weekend or another time, who knows? But what we've got to do is keep getting better and make sure, down the line, we are making things happen."
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks0 - 0Harlequins
Gloucester0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers0 - 0London Welsh
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins
Aviva Premiership 12/13 Round 12
Saracens closed within a point of the Premiership lead thanks to a 17-16 win over Northampton Saints at stadium:mk.
Bath came from behind to snatch a dramatic 12-12 draw with west country rivals Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
Nick Evans kicked 16 points as Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins saw off London Irish 26-15 at Twickenham.