Back to the Prem
By Moorsman
February 10 2017


Well that's the AW Cup out of the way so it's beack to Prem action for the Chiefs 

Chiefs v Wasps

Exeter Chiefs Gareth Steenson kicks a conversion during the Aviva Premiership match at Sandy Park, E

Having secured a home AW Cup semi-final spot by gaining a 5 point win at Brizz Chiefs will be looking to pick up where they left off in the Prem.  Prior to the break Chiefs defeated Bath and Tigers who were above them in the league (no longer the case) and drew with Sarries.  This leaves Wasps as the next target and Chiefs will be keen to close the gap on the leaders and pull away from the following pack.  

1Wasps 13 11 2 7 51
2Sarries 13 10 2 6 48
3Chiefs 13 7 4 9 41
4Bath 13 8 5 6 38
5Tigers 13 7 6 5 33
6 Saints 13 7 6 5 33

Rob Baxter and his fellow coaches have used the two AW games to rest some players whilst given others the chance to put their hands up for an AP place.  Looking at the team he's selected shows who has been successfull in doing this.

15 Phil Dollman 
14 Olly Woodburn 
13 Ian Whitten 
12 Ollie Devoto 
11 James Short 
10 Gareth Steenson (capt) 
9 Jack Maunder 
1 Ben Moon 
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie 
3 Greg Holmes 
4 Mitch Lees 
5 Jonny Hill 
6 Dave Dennis 
7 Don Armand 
8 Sam Simmonds 

16 Jack Yeandle 
17 Carl Rimmer 
18 Harry Williams 
19 Sam Skinner 
20 Tom Johnson 
21 Stuart Townsend 
22 Henry Slade 
23 Lachie Turner

It's great to see some of the youngsters getting a chance and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Sam Simmonds does.

Exeter Chiefs Sam Simmonds, (right) is tackled by Leicester Tigers Matt Smith, (left) during the LV

It's a shame The Tank isn't playing but Sam will certainly be an exciting alternative.  His try in the recent AW game v Wasps showed the sort of direct style of play he brings to the game.  It seems very odd to have Henry Slade on the bench instead of with England but he's a very welcome addition to the squad.  We'll miss Jack Nowell and Michele Campagnero as they're on International duty but there's plenty of pace and guile in Chiefs line up.

Exeter Chiefs Jack Nowell during the European Champions Cup, Pool Five match at Sandy park, Exeter.   Exeter Chiefs Michele Campagnaro during the European Champions Cup, pool two match at Sandy Park, Ex

Another player to miss out on and England place is Luke Cowan-Dickie and it's great to see him starting on Sunday as he brings so much energy to Chiefs play and we're going to need everyone to be firing on all cylinders. 

Exeter Chiefs Luke Cowan-Dickie (centre) makes a run towards the Worcester Warriors defence during t

Wasps may also be short of a few players due to International call ups but Dai Young is still able to field a side with threat right across the back line.

15. Kurtley Beale 
14. Christian Wade 
13. Jimmy Gopperth 
12. Kyle Eastmond 
11. Josh Bassett 
10. Danny Cipriani 
9. Dan Robson 
1. Simon Mcintyre 
2. Carlo Festuccia 
3. Marty Moore 
4. Matt Symons 
5. Kearnan Myall 
6. Ashley Johnson (c) 
7. Thomas Young 
8. Alex Rieder 

16. Tom Cruse 
17. Tom Bristow 
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley 
19. Will Rowlands 
20. James Gaskell 
21. Joe Simpson 
22. Alapati Leiua 
23. Frank Halai 

Chiefs have a good record against Wasps, particularly at Sandy Park and I'm hopiung this willm continue on Sunday but it could be lot closer than some previous encounters.