ROB BAXTER hopes a return to home comforts on Saturday will help his Exeter Chiefs side to a Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons (2:30pm).

Defeat away to Gloucester a week ago saw the Devonians surrender top spot in the division, albeit on points difference to defending champions Saracens.

But Baxter believes being back on familiar surroundings can ensure normal service is resumed at the first attempt.

“It’s been six weeks since we were last here, which is quite a long time, and I think we are ready to put out a big, energetic and emotional performance, which hopefully will drive us to the result we want,” said Baxter.

He added: “We have played against Newcastle many times and they have scored some fantastic tries against us. They’ve also got some very threatening players, so if we don’t decide to come out onto the pitch and work extremely hard, they are going to be a big threat to us.

“What we have got to decide to win is that work-rate battle and the hard work battle – because that will give us some good foundations that hopefully we can play some good rugby from.”

By and large Baxter sticks with the majority of those who started last week’s game against Gloucester.

In the pack, Aussie international Greg Holmes replaces Tomas Francis, who will start for Wales, while Don Armand returns in the back-row in place of Sean Lonsdale.

Behind the scrum, Gareth Steenson gets the nod at fly-half, Ollie Devoto returns in the centre alongside Ian Whitten, while there is a new-look back three made up of returning wingers Olly Woodburn and Alex Cuthbert with Santiago Cordero switching to full-back.


15 Santiago Cordero

14 Alex Cuthbert

13 Ian Whitten

12 Ollie Devoto

11 Olly Woodburn

10 Gareth Steenson

9 Nic White

1 Alec Hepburn

2 Jack Yeandle (capt)

3 Greg Holmes

4 Dave Dennis

5 Jonny Hill

6 Dave Ewers

7 Don Armand

8 Matt Kvesic


16 Jack Innard

17 Billy Keast

18 Marcus Street

19 Mitch Lees

20 Sean Lonsdale

21 Jack Maunder

22 Joe Simmonds

23 Sam Hill




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