Exeter v London Irish - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 13/04/13 5:52pm
Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter has made two changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Sandy Park.
Brett Sturgess returns in the front row at the expense of Carl Rimmer, whilst Ben White is given the nod over Dave Ewers in the back row.
With the Chiefs still in contention for a play-off berth, motivation will not be an issue, neither should fitness within the home camp after the Chiefs were without a game last weekend following their exit from Europe.
Meanwhile, Jebb Sinclair and Topsy Ojo will both line up for London Irish this weekend.
Flanker Sinclair returns to the run-on side along with wing Ojo, who was rested for the Exiles' last Aviva Premiership fixture against Sale Sharks.
Leo Halavatau starts on the tighthead and Darren Allinson will partner Ian Humphreys in the halves. Alex Corbisiero returns from injury to be named as a replacement.
Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter (c), 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11, Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18Halani Aulika, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Jonathan Joseph, 22 Marland Yarde, 23 Jack Moates.
What they said...
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter
"They [Irish] have been involved in a bit of a dog fight all season, where every point's vital. We know they are a very good side and pose a lot of danger to us, but I've got to expect our motivation to be very high because of the potential things we're fighting for. All I want to see is a group of highly-motivated players playing as well as they can. You can't ask for too much more than that."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Exeter are a good side and very tough at Sandy Park. We have had an extra week to prepare for this match and we're looking forward to the challenge down there."
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps36 - 29Exeter
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 2012/13 Round 20
Mark McCall slammed Josh Matavesi for his 'horrendous' challenge on Neil de Kock during Saracens' win over Worcester.
Saracens secured a home semi-final in the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a 47-17 bonus-point win over Worcester.
London Welsh will finish bottom of the Aviva Premiership after losing 31-14 to Northampton Saints.