Fixtures - Top Bar

Chiefs side to face Sale Sharks

TWaldrom-Chiefs-1812

Rob Baxter admits the savage bite Sale Sharks gave his Exeter Chiefs side back in April remains fresh within the minds of himself and his players ahead of their latest Aviva Premiership match-up at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night (7:45pm).

The Chiefs suffered a record top flight loss when the Sharks claimed only their second-ever victory against their Devon rivals when they won 55-12 at Sandy Park.

In the aftermath of that result, Baxter apologised to the club's fan-base, claiming his side had "let the supporters down" with an abject display.

Since that dark day, the feel-good factor has certainly returned to the Exeter camp – particularly this season – where the club find themselves third in the Premiership standings and top of both their European and LV= Cup pools heading into the New Year.

However, Baxter knows his side will have to be at their very best against the Sharks if they are to maintain their standing amongst the division's frontrunners.

"Obviously the last time we played them is still quite fresh in our minds – it was a stuffing to be honest," said Baxter. "We were well beaten here at Sandy Park and I think that is going to stick in our minds. I am hoping that will give us extra motivation, but the fact is that both ourselves and Sale are going pretty well at the moment.

"We have obviously mentioned it to the players. It was one of those rare occasions that – without taking anything away from Sale, who played well on the day – we were definitely below par. We did not perform in a way that was acceptable and I think that, for me in particular, it was a bit of a humbling experience to have to sit there and have to watch it.

"We have talked about it since and it is not something that we should be prepared to accept or that happens often given our qualities."

This term, though, Baxter's side have underlined their qualities and having netted successive victories over champions Northampton Saints, Wasps and Saracens in the last block of Premiership fixtures, hopes are high that Devon's finest can continue their rich vein of form.

With eight wins on the bounce to their name, confidence is certainly high within the Exeter ranks ahead of their trek to the North West.

"We have probably spoken more about the positives in playing good rugby," added Baxter. "By playing well, we are in a positive position in all competitions. We should focus more on that than the past, but it is undoubtedly something that we do want to put right.

"They [Sale] are on a good run of results in the Premiership, as are ourselves, and that obviously makes it a fantastic challenge.

"We are obviously pleased at how the Premiership season is going for us to date and we want to keep that going. It is going to be a challenging game but we are on pretty good form, so I am anticipating a good game up there.

"It is like anything – winning runs are put together through the hard work you do week on week, but what we did in a Premiership game seven weeks ago counts for very little. What matters is the preparation we put in this week and our mind-set – that is what we have to focus on."

And having utilised the recent European games against La Rochelle to get game minutes into a large number of his squad, Baxter feels his players are in fine fettle ahead of what is yet another crucial block of games in the top division.

Team news for the Chiefs sees Baxter welcome back all of his frontline stars, including skipper Dean Mumm, No.8 Thomas Waldrom and fly-half Gareth Steenson.

Waldrom, who was recently crowned the Premiership Player of the Month for November, currently tops the divisional try-scoring charts with seven to his name, whilst the deadly boot of Steenson is also top of the pile with 131 points – 27 of which came in his side's last league win against Saracens.

15 Phil Dollman
14 Jack Nowell
13 Henry Slade
12 Ian Whitten
11 Matt Jess
10 Gareth Steenson
9 Will Chudley

1 Ben Moon
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie
3 Moray Low
4 Dean Mumm (capt)
5 Damian Welch
6 Dave Ewers
7 Ben White
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 Jack Yeandle
17 Carl Rimmer
18 Alex Brown
19 Mitch Lees
20 Kai Horstmann
21 Haydn Thomas
22 Sam Hill
23 Adam Hughes

Latest News

Match officials for this weekend’s European rugby

Welsh referee Nigel Owens will be the man in the middle when Saracens face Toulon in a heavyweight clash in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Mike Phillips: Sale Sharks improvements will lead to wins

Mike Phillips is adamant Sale Sharks’ performance against French giants Toulon proves that an end to their losing run is…

mphillips-sale-0311

Alex Lozowski, Mike Haley, Jack Nowell, Tom Wood, Matt Cox and George Ford star in OPTA’s European stats

Chris Ashton’s late try broke Scarlets hearts as Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens extended their unbeaten run in Europe with…

alexlozowskisarrieseurope1617sb1111

Graham Kitchener: Leicester Tigers pride is still burning bright

Leicester Tigers are already out of contention for the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals with a round still to come…

Graham Kitchener

Worcester Warriors will move on from Brive loss, says Matthew Cox

Forward Matthew Cox insists Worcester Warriors are moving on from their heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to Brive as they prepare for…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Tom Bristow: Dai Young has created a great spirit at Wasps

Tom Bristow has hailed director of rugby Dai Young for creating a sense of togetherness at Wasps after their last-gasp…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Rugby’s most comprehensive injury study published

The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) report for the 2015-16 season has been published. The project is the most…

Premiership Rugby Balls

Worcester Warriors sign Northampton Saints’ Ethan Waller

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce the signing of Northampton Saints prop Ethan Waller. The loosehead will move to Sixways…

Ethan Waller

Calum Clark signs for Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that flanker Calum Clark will join the club. Clark will move to Allianz Park from…

Calum Clark

Ross Batty hopes hooking battle can help Bath Rugby push on

Bath Rugby hooker Ross Batty insists the competition across Todd Blackadder’s squad will help them continue to bounce back from…

Ross Batty breaks away for a score against Wasps.

Nick De Luca extends Wasps contract until end of season, before retiring from professional rugby

Scotland international centre Nick De Luca has extended his contract with Wasps until the end of the season, at which…

Nick De Luca

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Saracens, Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs

Mark McCall praised his ‘phenomenal’ captain Owen Farrell after Chris Ashton’s brace helped Saracens come from from 22-15 down in…

LLANELLI, WALES - JANUARY 15:  Saracens fly half Owen Farrell breaks a tackle on his way to setting up the final Saracens try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Scarlets and Sarcens at Parc y Scarlets on January 15, 2017 in Llanelli, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Wasps, Worcester Warriors

Dai Young hailed his side’s spirit after Wasps fought back to secure a dramatic 17-14 European Cup victory over Toulouse…

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Young referees get recognition at packed Franklin’s Gardens

Young referees from the East Midlands were centre stage at Franklin’s Gardens at the start of the New Year, as…

Northampton Saints referees

Bath Rugby contract extensions for front row duo

Bath Rugby is delighted to announce that hooker Ross Batty and prop Max Lahiff have signed contract extensions that will…

Ross Batty

New Laws film as part of Ricoh Rugby Change Series

Global technology company, Ricoh has today launched the third video in their Rugby Change Series. The latest video, Laws, focuses…

New Laws Film

Challenge Cup – Benetton Treviso v Gloucester Rugby: kick-off delayed

The kick-off of today's Challenge Cup, Round 5 match between Benetton Treviso and Gloucester Rugby has been delayed until 17.00…

Aviva Premiership Rugby European Round-up: Bath Rugby, Bristol Rugby and Newcastle Falcons

Todd Blackadder attributed Bath Rugby’s 57-22 victory over league rivals Bristol Rugby to entering the game with exactly the right…

semesarokodoguni17sb1111

Rugby clubs benefit from the Aviva Community Fund

Premiership Rugby is this season immensely proud to have helped raise awareness of the Aviva Community Fund, which offers support…

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25:  Brad Barritt, Captain of Saracens, holds the Aviva Premiership Trophy, as the twelve Captains form a heart shape at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season Launch at Twickenham Stadium on August 25, 2016 in London. The heart shape symbolises the Aviva Community Fund initiative which launches on 13 September 2016. The initiative lends a helping hand to local communities, including grassroots sports clubs, by offering funding of up to £25,000. during the Aviva Premiership Rugby 2016-2017 Season Launch at Twickenham Stadium on August 25, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Aviva)

Jonny May excited by free-scoring Gloucester Rugby’s potential

Gloucester Rugby flyer Jonny May admits the Cherry & Whites side that humbled Worcester Warriors last weekend in Aviva Premiership…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library