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Match Preview – Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby

Match Preview – Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester Rugby
The Cherry and Whites are on the road this weekend, making the trip South to Sandy Park to take on Exeter Chiefs in the first part of an exciting double header in the Heineken Champions Cup (KO 1pm)

The Cherry and Whites got back to winning ways against Worcester Warriors last time out, whereas the in-form Chiefs tasted their first defeat of the domestic season, narrowly edged out at Harlequins.

Here are some players to keep an eye on this weekend.

Gerbrandt Grobler

The South African lock comes into the starting lineup for the Cherry and Whites this weekend. A totemic part of the line out, and dangerous around the fringes, Grobler will be a key part of the visiting pack at Sandy Park in a fascinating forward pack battle.

Henry Slade

The England man returns to the back line of the home side this weekend after his exertions in the Autumn, a second playmaker for the home side, he can create tries from anywhere on the field, and is a key man for the Chiefs.

Last Time Out

Gloucester Rugby 36-16 Worcester Warriors

Harlequins 28-26 Exeter Chiefs

Form Guide

Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby have never met in the tournament, however, the Gallagher Premiership rivals have clashed in the Challenge Cup previously, with Gloucester coming out on top at Kingsholm in the 2015 semi-final.

Gloucester have lost each of their four previous matches against Premiership opposition in the tournament. Meanwhile, this will be the first time Exeter have faced an English side in the pool stage of Europe’s top flight.

Exeter have not trailed at half time in any of their last five matches in the tournament, however, they’ve gone on to win just one of those games (01, L3).

Exeter’s injured England star, Jack Nowell, has beaten more defenders (15) than any other player in the opening two rounds, whilst no forward has beaten more than Gloucester’s Jake Polledri (10).

Exeter Chiefs suffered their first Premiership loss of the season last weekend and they need to bounce back with a win against Gloucester on Saturday.

Bottom of pool 2, the Chiefs haven’t won a Champions Cup game this season drawing with Munster and losing to Castres so far.

Gloucester Rugby will be hoping to inflict much of the same on Rob Baxter’s men and might look back to their incredible 2015 semi-final win for inspiration.

Team News

Exeter Chiefs

15. Phil Dollman, 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. Alex Cuthbert, 10. Gareth Steenson, 9. Nic White; 1. Ben Moon, 2. Jack Yeandle (capt), 3. Greg Holmes, 4. Mitch Lees, 5. Dave Dennis, 6. Sam Skinner; 7. Don Armand, 8. Matt Kvesic

Replacements

16. Elvis Taione, 17. Alec Hepburn, 18. Tomas Francis; 19. Ollie Atkins, 20. Tom Lawday, 21. Stu Townsend, 22. Joe Simmonds, 23. Ian Whitten 

Gloucester Rugby

15. Tom Hudson, 14. Matt Banahan, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Owen Williams, 11. Ollie Thorley, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Jaco Visagie, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Tom Savage; 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Jake Polledri, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements

16. Henry Walker, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Ed Slater, 20. Gareth Evans; 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Jason Woodward

Match Officials

Ref: Pascal Gauzère (France)

Assis Ref 1: Maxime Chalon (France) 

Assis Ref 2: Jean-Luc Rebollal (France) 

TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

How To Follow

This Saturday’s game is live on television, on both BT Sport and Channel 4, and there will be live commentary via BBC Radio Gloucestershire who will in place at Sandy Park.

Follow all of the club channels for live updates on the matchday live blog, Twitter and behind the scenes on Instagram.

Enjoy the game!
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