Rob Baxter forced into changes for Harlequins
Injuries may have forced Exeter Chiefs into changes this weekend, but head coach Rob Baxter has still called for more of the same against Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins.
Chiefs travel to The Stoop this afternoon looking to resume the form that saw them score five tries against London Welsh at Sandy Park last weekend.
Forwards Dean Mumm and Hoani Tui were forced out of that eventual 47-16 win along with centre Jason Shoemark and all three will miss out after failing to recover from injuries in time to face league leaders Quins.
Alex Brown comes in for his first-ever Premiership start at tight-head, while Damian Welch will partner Tom Hayes in the second row.
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Shoemark's absence meansPhil Dollman is promoted from the bench. The elevation of Brown, Welch and Dollman into the starting line-up means there are recalls to the match-day squad for Craig Mitchell, James Hanks and Ian Whitten.
Despite those alterations, Baxter wants his side to maintain the positive aspects of their display from last weekend.
He said: "It was just about getting a little bit of confidence back and playing well. The key for us was that we made good decisions, we took our points early in the game.
"I kept saying through the winter periods that the way we play when the pitches firm up will see us back in the running again.
"The key for us is to make sure the London Welsh performance is not just a one-off. We need to show that enthusiasm and attacking intent through to the rest of the season.
"The pitches are firming up and conditions are improving. We like playing against Harlequins because they play good rugby."
Chiefs beat Quins 42-18 earlier in the season at Sandy Park and their opponents will be without England men Chris Robshaw, Danny Care, Mike Brown and Joe Marler for this latest encounter.
Baxter said: "We hit a run of form that day and I think Harlequins stuttered that day. We just played a good high-tempo and were physical at the contact area and controlled the ball.
"The reality is you have to try and do that every week. We forced a few things on them and pressure turned ball our way and we were clinical.
"We are working on it and improving, I think you can see that from some of the tries we are scoring.
"We are only one try behind Harlequins so we are getting there, bit by bit."
Exeter Chiefs: Arscott; Nowell, Naqelevuki, Dollman, Jess; Steenson, Thomas; Rimmer, Yeandle, Brown; Hayes (capt), Welch; White, Scaysbrook, Baxter. Replacements: Clark, Moon, Mitchell, Hanks, Ewers, Chudley, Mieres, Whitten.