Exeter v Saracens preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the Aviva Premiership clash
Exeter makes five changes for their top-of-the-table match against Saracens on Sunday: 13:00 kick-off
Jack Yeandle returns to the front row with Ben Moon and Moray Low coming in alongside him
Maro Itoje is dropped in favour of Hayden Smith as Sarries makes five changes
Exeter have made five changes to their starting XV for this week’s top-of-the-table tussle with Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Skipper Jack Yeandle – who missed out against Worcester due to illness – returns in a front-row that also sees recalls for props Ben Moon and Moray Low.
Elsewhere in the pack, Ollie Atkins is given the nod in the second-row alongside Geoff Parling, while behind Sam Hill fills the void in midfield left by the absent Michele Campagnaro.
On the bench, Harry Williams is brought in as tighthead cover, while Lewis Stevenson – who recently re-joined the club from Ulster – gets his first involvement.
Meanwhile, Saracens boss Mark McCall has named Scotland flanker Kelly Brown at openside flanker.
Brown is joined by Jackson Wray and Italy qualified loose-forward Samu Vunisa in the back-row, with Jacques Burger reverting to the bench and Michael Rhodes rested as Saracens continue to rotate their squad.
Exeter Chiefs have won their last 15 home games in all major tournaments at Sandy Park since Gloucester beat them there on 3rd January 2015; during that run the Chiefs have allowed their opponents only one losing bonus point whilst helping themselves to nine-try bonus points
Saracens only defeat in their last 19 fixtures in all tournaments was 23-29 at Harlequins in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 9th January
Sarries have gained at least one league point from every Premiership Rugby game they have played since they last visited Sandy Park in November 2014
The Chiefs achieved the season’s double over Saracens in Premiership Rugby in 2014/15. Saracens record at Sandy Park is won three, lost two
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Exeter: James Short
Saracens: Mike Ellery
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Don Armand, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Ollie Atkins, 3 Moray Low, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Max Bodilly
Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Nathan Earle
Date: Sunday, February 7
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy, Paul Dix
TMO: David Grashoff