Rob Baxter is confident of strong finish
Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter thinks the two-week break from matches will help the injured players in his squad recover.
With the Sandy Park outfit out of the LV= Cup, they do not play again until Leicester head to Devon on March 23 (5pm).
And the head coach hopes he will have more players in contention for that game to boost the Chiefs' chances of success.
Baxter had to do without the influential trio of Jason Shoemark, Dean Mumm and Hoani Tui for last weekend's match against Harlequins.
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However, the strength in depth was shown with the 27-16 victory in London. Lock James Hanks was an unused replacement for that match as he returns from a pelvic injury and will be fully fit by the time the Tigers come calling.
Front-rowers Brett Sturgess and Chris Whitehead should also be available, along with wing Gonzalo Camacho.
However, hooker Simon Alcott is still being monitored and eased back into training from a neck injury and back-row duo Tom Johnson and James Phillips are a little way from being able to play.
"We're anticipating the three guys who had to pull out from the week before – Dean Mumm, Hoani Tui and Jason Shoemark – all being fit," Baxter said as he looked ahead to the Leicester match.
"James Hanks was on the bench [at Harlequins] and is pretty much there. He'll be up and running to a higher degree. Guys like Dave Ewers have been back a while, Chris Whitehead should be good to go, Brett Sturgess should be good to go so we are getting there.
"That bodes well to be able to fly into the last five games and see what we can get out of them."
With five games of the Aviva Premiership campaign to go, Exeter are in a battle to try to make it into the top six as they bid for a place in next season's Heineken Cup.
"There's a lot of people already talking about the various permutations that will make up the top four or top six over the next set of games," said Baxter.
"What we did very well last week was we looked at the Harlequins game very much as a one-off and attacked it in that manner, like it was a cup game. That's got to be our approach until the end of the season."