Fixtures - Top Bar

Chiefs side to face Dragons

Rob Baxter says his Exeter Chiefs side must ready themselves for a "full blooded" encounter when they travel to Newport this evening in their final pre-season friendly against the Dragons at Rodney Parade (7:30pm).

Having warmed up with home wins over Scarlets (45-3) and Ulster Rugby (25-19), Baxter is hoping this final engagement will serve as the perfect warm-up for his players ahead of their Aviva Premiership opener at Wasps on Sunday week.

And unlike the two previous games, the Chiefs will travel with a more refined playing squad – similar to that of a normal match-day – to help in their preparations for the trip to the Ricoh Arena.

That said, Baxter insists those not involved in tonight’s clash should not see this as a sign they won’t figure against the Midlanders in Round One, instead he has put the pressure on those travelling to Wales to prove their worth.

"We will look at Friday more like an 80-minute game," said Baxter. "A lot of the guys will extend their game time and we’ll take an extended bench, but that will be more precautionary so that nobody gets over extended.

"I’m expecting the guys who play to go out, put markers down and show they want to be the players who want to feature at Wasps. The guys not involved have been told the team that goes to Newport is not set in stone.

"It’s an opportunity for those guys to cement their places within the squad, but on the negative side there is an awful lot of opportunity for them to get it wrong and lose their way. That’s why this is a very important game, as will training next week, and it will be up to all of the guys to get us ready for the start of the Premiership."

The Chiefs, however, have impressed so far during pre-season and Baxter is hoping for more of the same from those in action in the Principality.

"A lot of what we’ve done has been very good and we’ve been impressed with a lot of what the guys have done," added Baxter.  "Now, though, it’s a case of stepping it up another level and getting ourselves ready for the start of the season.

"We’ve built pre-season around having some home fixtures and then finishing with a tough away trip to Newport. We have been there before and we’ve never had an easy game there. I’ve no doubt it will be a full blooded encounter because like us they are revving up for an important game of their own against Ulster next week.

"We know from the past that our tests against the Pro 12 sides in pre-season are always very worthwhile. I remember our first season in the Premiership, we played the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues and that really set the scene for us. They were two tough games of rugby and it’s been like that for a lot of the years since.

"As I said, we need to step things up a bit and just fine tune a few areas of our game. Last season showed we are a very good side and that a lot of what we do is the right thing to do. Yes, I want us to show a reaction to losing the final, but more in the sense that I want the guys to report back – like they have – focused, determined and prepared to work hard in everything they do.

"We’ve seen that so far throughout pre-season and these games and now I want us to carry that into the season."

For those supporters unable to go to tonight’s game, you can keep up-to-date with everything on the club’s official Twitter and Facebook pages.

15 Phil Dollman
14 Olly Woodburn
13 Ollie Devoto
12 Sam Hill
11 Ian Whitten
10 Henry Slade
9 Will Chudley

1 Ben Moon
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie
3 Harry Williams
4 Mitch Lees
5 Damian Welch
6 Don Armand (capt)
7 Julian Salvi
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 Jack Yeandle
17 Alec Hepburn
18 Greg Holmes
19 Geoff Parling
20 Dave Dennis
21 Dave Lewis
22 Gareth Steenson
23 James Short

Extended Bench: Elvis Taione, Moray Low, Tomas Francis, Jonny Hill, Kai Horstmann, Haydn Thomas, Will Hooley, Lachie Turner, Max Bodilly.

Latest News

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey

Gloucester Rugby make just one change for trip to Bath

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that triumphed in La Rochelle last weekend, making just one…

Mariano Galarza

Exeter Chiefs side to face Northampton Saints

Rob Baxter says it’s vital his Exeter Chiefs grasp every opportunity afforded to them as they look to maintain their…

Gareth Steenson

Leicester Tigers team news for final home game

Graham Kitchener and Adam Thompstone will make their 100th starting appearances in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the final home…

Adam Thompstone

Team News for Bristol Rugby to face Saracens

Olly Robinson returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Rugby face reigning Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday (3pm KO). The…

Olly Robinson

Four Changes For Sharks Ahead of Tigers Clash

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Leicester Tigers this Saturday at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership…

Josh Charnley

Callum Chick not given up on top-six finish for Newcastle Falcons

Promising Newcastle Falcons flanker Callum Chick hasn't given up on helping his side qualify for a Champions Cup place next…

Jack Singleton still buzzing after baptism of fire at Worcester Warriors

Jack Singleton admits he never expected to get as much Aviva Premiership Rugby game time as he has had this…

Saracens sign Wales international lock Dominic Day

Saracens have completed the signing of Wales international lock forward Dominic Day for the for the upcoming 2017/18 season. 31-year…

Dominic Day

Tom Heathcote extends his stay at Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Scotland international Tom Heathcote has put pen to paper on a new contract…

Tom Heathcote

Minimum standards criteria results

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has considered the findings of an independent audit report of the Greene King IPA Championship…

World Rugby welcomes Berlin Consensus Statement on concussion in sport

Expert group publishes comprehensive review of scientific papers on concussion Rugby continues to be aligned with recommended best practice Cross-sport…

Mark Lambert issues rallying call for Harlequins’ top-six push

A third season in a row without top flight European rugby is not an option for a club of Harlequins’…

Gloucester’s Henry Trinder: Top-six place at stake adds to West Country derby

Gloucester will be travelling to The Rec for their West Country derby against Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday…

Henry Trinder