EXETER Chiefs welcome back their big guns for Saturday’s must-win Heineken Champions Cup encounter against Gloucester at Sandy Park (1pm).

After an opening round draw with Munster, then a narrow defeat to French champions Castres, Chiefs find themselves up against it in Pool Two heading towards the halfway stage.

However, they would be back in contention if they could win back-to-back matches against their Premiership rivals Gloucestershire.

“On paper, even if we were to lose this weekend, there would still be 15 points up for grabs – and we’ve seen sides in the past qualify with 18 points,” said Exeter’s director of rugby Rob Baxter.

“On anything other than paper, this really is a must-win game and this is how we have to look at this game. Even then, we still have three very tough games in this competition, two of which are away to Gloucester and Munster, so it’s going to be a tough challenge, but one that we’re very much looking forward to.”

Having opted to rest all of the Exeter players who had been away on international duty last week, Baxter welcomes many of them back tomorrow.

Ben Moon and Sam Skinner both return to the pack, while behind Henry Slade is another notable inclusion alongside Ollie Devoto.

Other changes to the side that lost to Harlequins see Gareth Steenson return at fly-half, while Santiago Cordero is added on the right wing and Alec Hepburn and Tomas Francis are named on the bench.


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

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

Buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.