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Flats selects his XV from the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals

Flats selects his XV from the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals

David Flatman has selected his Flats XV after a dramatic weekend of semi-final action in the Anglo-Welsh Cup that saw both matches go down to the wire.

Bath Rugby and Exeter Chiefs will contest the right to lift the trophy at Kingsholm, Gloucester on Sunday after edging past Northampton Saints and Newcastle Falcons respectively.

Bath are the team who are best represented in Flats XV this week with six players, including front rowers Beno Obano and Nathan Charles.

Hooker Charles can reflect on a successful night at the line-out, as 13 were won off his throwing despite the soaking wet conditions at the Rec, while he’s joined in the front row by Exeter’s Greg Holmes.

In the second row are Newcastle’s Will Witty and Bath’s Levi Douglas, who scored the only try of the game in his side’s 13-12 victory over Northampton, doing well to pick up a slippery loose ball.

One of the standout players of that match was 20-year-old openside flanker Josh Bayliss, who not only made the most tackles, with 14, but his 36 metres gained was the most of any Bath player on the night.

Alongside him is teammate Tom Ellis, Flats’ Player of the Round, with the Chiefs’ Matt Kvesic selected at No.8 after making a magnificent 20 tackles against the Falcons on Sunday.

It’s an all-Exeter half-back pairing, with Stu Townsend picked at scrum-half alongside fly-half Joe Simmonds, who had a day to remember at Sandy Park.

With the hosts 17-7 down at half-time (Townsend scoring their try), Simmonds took control in crossing the try line before eventually clinching a 20-17 victory with a 77th-minute penalty.

The younger brother of England international Sam finished with a personal haul of 15 points to follow up his eye-catching display for the Aviva Premiership champions against Saracens the previous week.

Both wingers come from Newcastle, with Sinoti Sinoti making 94 metres on the left whilst beating six defenders and making three clean breaks, the most of anyone on the field.

Vereniki Goneva, meanwhile, beat five defenders and made four off-loads on the right wing.

Goneva’s fellow Fijian Josh Matavesi is picked alongside Bath’s Will Hurrell, who was a solid figure at outside centre as the rain poured down.

Finally, it comes as no surprise to see Santiago Cordero named at full back after the Argentina international gained a phenomenal 135 metres attacking from deep, beating five defenders in the process.

15. Santiago Cordero (Exeter Chiefs)
14. Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons)
13. Will Hurrell (Bath)
12. Josh Matavesi (Newcastle Falcons)
11. Sinoti Sinoti (Newcastle Falcons)
10. Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
9. Stu Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Beno Obano (Bath)
2. Nathan Charles (Bath)
3. Greg Holmes (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons)
5. Levi Douglas (Bath)
6. Tom Ellis (Bath)
7. Josh Bayliss (Bath)
8. Matt Kvesic (Exeter Chiefs)

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Final will be at the iconic Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby, on Sunday 18 March. To buy tickets and be part of an unforgettable occasion click here

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