O’FLAHERTY HANDED FIRST PREMIERSHIP START FOR CHIEFS


WINGER Tom O’Flaherty will make his first Premiership start for Exeter Chiefs on Friday evening when they take on Harlequins at the Stoop (7.45pm).

The Chiefs stick largely with the side from that saw off Gloucester 23-6 last weekend to make it eight wins out of eight in the league. The pack remains untouched, but in the backs as well as a debut for O’Flaherty, there are also starts for Joe Simmonds at fly-half and Sam Hill at centre.

Harlequins are fifth in the table, but have only won three games this season. However, Exeter’s director of rugby Rob Baxter is wary of Paul Gustard’s side

Baxter said: “By their own admission, Harlequins have been a bit patchy on form. But the trouble with teams who are patchy is you don’t know which patch you are going to hit. What we have to be prepared to do is go up there, work very hard – as we did at the weekend – and kind of not have that breather when you look too far ahead.”

He added: “They’ve obviously had a change of coaching staff with Paul coming in and you can see straight away that their defensive stats are hugely different to that of last season. Straight away that means they are a harder team to play against because there is no guarantee of points unless you’re willing to work very hard.”

CHIEFS SIDE TO FACE HARLEQUINS

15 Phil Dollman
14 Tom O’Flaherty
13 Ian Whitten
12 Sam Hill
11 Alex Cuthbert
10 Joe Simmonds
9 Nic White
1 Moray Low
2 Jack Yeandle (capt)
3 Greg Holmes
4 Mitch Lees
5 Dave Dennis
6 Dave Ewers
7 Don Armand
8 Matt Kvesic

16 Elvis Taione
17 Billy Keast
18 Marcus Street
19 Ollie Atkins
20 Tom Lawday
21 Jack Maunder
22 Gareth Steenson
23 Ollie Devoto

 

 

 

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.