Exeter Chiefs v Bordeaux-Begles preview: Chiefs look to revive hopes of progression
Exeter Chiefs take on Bordeaux-Begles tonight at Sandy Park: 19:45 kick-off (BT Sport)
This will be the first meeting between the sides in European competition.
Rob Baxter has rung the changes to the Chiefs starting XV
Bordeaux-Bègles have made two changes to their starting line-up
Exeter host Pool Two rivals Bordeaux-Begles at Sandy Park tonight in the knowledge that they have to avoid another slip up to keep their hopes of progression alive.
Last week, a Dan Biggar-inspired Ospreys side came away with the spoils in a closely fought tie, courtesy of a 25-13 win over Exeter at the Liberty Stadium.
The tragic events in Paris last week meant that was the only Pool Two fixture last weekend as Bordeaux’s clash with Clermont Auvergne was postponed.
In response to the reverse last time out, Chiefs Head Coach Rob Baxter has opted to move Henry Slade from centre to fly-half, while Geoff Parling, Moray Low and Phil Dollman all come into the starting line-up.
Meanwhile, Bordeaux have made two changes to their starting line-up from last week’s postponement with Yann Lesgourgues coming in for Heini Adams at scrum-half, while Steven Kitshoff comes in at loosehead prop for Jean-Baptiste Poux.
This is almost all or nothing for Exeter, but they have shown their class in the domestic campaign this year, sitting second in the Premiership. That, combined with their strength of form at Sandy Park, should see them over the line against what will be an understandably rusty opponent. Exeter by 14.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Exeter Chiefs: Phil Dollman
Despite Jack Nowell proving to be an able deputy last week, Chiefs missed the class of Dollman at fullback and they may have been in a better position had he played in south Wales. However, he does return this afternoon and should be a big part of a good team performance from the home side.
Bordeaux-Begles: Metuisela Talebulamaijaina
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Moray Low, 2 Jack Yeandle (capt), 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Don Armand, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Michele Campagnaro.
Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Jan Andre Marais (c), 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Patrick Toetu, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Adam Jaulhac, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Charles Brousse.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 19:15 GMT
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)