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Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby

Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby

It has been more than a year since Exeter Chiefs were last beaten at home and with the victors Gloucester returning to Sandy Park on Saturday, Julian Salvi is looking for revenge.

The Cherry and Whites’ 26-25 win on January 3 2015 was the last time an opposing team have won at Sandy Park.

Salvi was not with the Chiefs then, having joined from Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals Leicester Tigers in the summer, but that defeat and the 8-3 loss against Northampton Saints last weekend has Rob Baxter’s men fired up for Saturday’s clash.

The 30-year-old flanker said: “It is a big match and one we are definitely looking forward to. They are the last team to win here so that makes it a big game in that sense and we also want to right the wrongs of last week.

“We will need a good performance, which we always demand when we play at Sandy Park. When you have suffered a loss, it is about making sure you get back to winning ways in the next match.

“If you can keep ticking along and getting the four or five pointers then it goes a massive way towards having a good season.

“In my position, Exeter have Matt Kvesic who is in very good form in terms of his turnovers and work rate so he is a threat there.

“But they also have some lightning wingers and guys who can cause you some damage so we need nullify their threats and for us to step out as well.”

Exeter Chiefs have lost two of their last three matches in all competitions, whilst their 8-3 reversal at Northampton in Aviva Premiership Rugby on New Year's Day was the first time they had failed to score a try in a match since Saracens visited Sandy Park in November 2014. But the Chiefs do remain the top try scorers in the league this season.

As for Gloucester, they are unbeaten in their last five fixtures in all tournaments since losing 15-3 at Northampton on November 27.

However, they have won just one away game in their last nine trips in Aviva Premiership Rugby: the 39-27 win at Newcastle Falcons on the opening week of the season.

Gloucester back James Hook said: “It was a bit twitchy coming in at half time 14-6 behind against London Irish last week but we showed the courage and determination to put in a good performance in the second half and that – and the performance against Harlequins – gives us good confidence going into the game with Exeter.

“We need a full 80-minute performance to get a result from the Exeter game and the boys know that. We did it last year and we need it again this week.

“It would be nice to get a repeat result but they are a quality side who have developed over the years. Their whole team have grown and their back line has also grown over the last couple of years.

“They are missing Henry Slade – who is a quality player – but they have good replacements who work their socks off for the team.”

Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park, 3pm

Referee: Ian Tempest (12th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle & Ross Campbell. TMO: Stuart Terheege.

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham. 

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