Exeter Chiefs announce side to face Ospreys
Having impressively overcome Premiership rivals London Welsh in their opening LV= Cup fixture of the season, Exeter Chiefs coach Ricky Pellow has challenged his side to now "back it up" when they play host to the Ospreys at Sandy Park tomorrow (5pm).
Like the Chiefs, the Welsh region kicked off their campaign with a 33-27 victory over Gloucester a week ago and Pellow expects Steve Tandy's visitors to pose a creditable threat to his side.
"Going to London Welsh last weekend a was a real challenge for us, yet the guys put in an excellent performance up there," said Pellow, who along with Rob Gibson will again take charge of the Devon club this weekend. "Now, though, we have to back it up with an equally good display.
"The squad, I know, are very excited about playing at Sandy Park in front of an Exeter Chiefs home crowd, so it will be good for not just the young guys, but also the senior ones as well to go out there and look to do the same again.
"Like ourselves, the Ospreys have a good mix across their squad and they are coming here to Sandy Park - an intimidating place - looking to back their own performance up. They too will be excited about the challenge they see in front of them and will want to build on their win over Gloucester.
"They will be strong, they have a good set-piece, they like to pick-and-go, and their nine and ten like to control the game, so we know we have to combat all of those threats, as well as impose our own game on them."
The Chiefs, however, will head into the game full of confidence following their six-try dismantling of Welsh at the Kassam Stadium. Young full-back Jack Nowell led the way with a man-of-the-match display, whilst there were also tries for Nic Sestaret (2), Will Carrick-Smith and Mark Foster.
All four try-scorers are retained in an Exeter starting line-up that shows three changes, all of which come in the front-row where there are starts for props Luke Cowan-Dickie and Hoani Tui, as well as hooker Jack Yeandle who will be making his first-ever senior start for the Chiefs.
The back division remains unchanged, but the Chiefs - who last season overcame the Ospreys 35-9 in the same competition - have opted for a reshuffle with Sestaret moving back into the centre alongside Sam Hill; Nowell reverts to the vacant wing slot and Myles Dorrian is shunted back into the full-back role.
On the bench, the Chiefs recall Aly Muldowney, Ian Whitten and Josh Tatupu, the latter for the first time since he broke his ankle in the away defeat to Northampton Saints in the Premiership back in early September.
Again it's a big opportunity for all the squad to go out and impress in a competition where the Chiefs are keen to make progress. Pellow added: "It's a great environment for guys young and old to go out and flourish. In terms of what we've said as a coaching staff to the players is, we want them to go out and attack the game. Whatever side is put in front of us - whether it's in the Premiership, Heineken Cup or the LV, we are going to attack them all in the same manner.
"As we know this is a great competition to get guys who have been on the fringes some much-needed game time, but the other positive is that it also breeds an environment for young guys to come through and play. We see it as a massive tool to help with the development of our squad going forward."
Tickets for tomorrow's game are still available either online or at the stadium itself. Supporters are reminded that we have two ticket offers for this game, the first is our Family Ticket, which will allow two children FREE entry providing they attend with two paying adults.
The other is for serving and current members of either the Armed Forces or Emergency Services, who can gain FREE entry to the game providing they show a valid ID card from their organisation.
The two ticket deals are not available online and must be carried out through the ticket office or Trading Post.
15 Myles Dorrian
14 Jack Nowell
13 Nic Sestaret
12 Sam Hill
11 Mark Foster
10 Henry Slade
9 Junior Poluleuligaga (capt)
1 Luke Cowan-Dickie
2 Jack Yeandle
3 Hoani Tui
4 Damian Welch
5 Will Carrick-Smith
6 Justin Blanchet
7 Joel Conlon
8 Dave Ewers
16 Neil Clark
17 Ben Moon
18 Alex Brown
19 Aly Muldowney
20 Sam Simmonds
21 Rob Coote
22 Josh Tatupu
23 Ian Whitten