Team News: Baxter Reshuffles Matchday 23 for Gloucester Derby


Rob Baxter has made five changes to his starting line-up for Chiefs’ Round Six derby-day clash with Gloucester this Sunday as a fan-favourite face returns to the matchday 23.

In a familiar move, the Chiefs Director of Rugby rotates his entire front row for another challenge as young Welsh internationalist Dafydd Jenkins retains his spot in the starting line-up and the captaincy.

Elsewhere in the pack, Aidon Davis makes his first start of the season in the back row as Ross Vintcent moves to the bench to make way for the South African. Man of the Match the last time out at home, Rusi Tuima, then switches into the starting line-up for the weekend as Lewis Pearson takes up his spot on the bench.

Baxter is aware of the intent the Cherry and Whites will likely arrive in Exeter with following on from a disappointing result against Bath last weekend. However, he is looking forward to the atmosphere the derby weekend game will bring to the crowd.

“I think Gloucester will be disappointed with last week as they really had the momentum of the game at half time, and they almost looked like the team who were ready to cut loose. They will be smarting from it a little and will be wanting to respond.”

“The great thing when we play Gloucester is they bring a lot of travelling support, which’ll be a great atmosphere at Sandy Park.”

“Every game we’ve played so far has been a challenge in different ways and this will be another one that we have the chance to learn from. They’re very good in counter attack – they’re prepared to go wide-to-wide in the backs and they’ve got great pace there. And obviously they’ve had a lot of success in recent years around their maul.”

Chiefs slipped to fifth in the league table following last Sunday’s result, however, the squad will look to maintain the Sandy Park fortress this Sunday – where they haven’t lost a game since October 2022.

Also included in the matchday squad is the incredibly familiar face of scrum half Stu Townsend – named on the bench, he could make his first appearance of the 2022/23 season following an injury lay-off.

Exeter Chiefs:

15 Tommy Wyatt

14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso

13 Henry Slade

12 Joe Hawkins

11 Ben Hammersley

10 Harvey Skinner

9 Tom Cairns

1 Scott Sio

2 Jack Yeandle

3 Ehren Painter

4 Rusi Tuima

5 Dafydd Jenkins (c)

6 Ethan Roots

7 Jacques Vermeulen

8 Aidon Davis


16 Dan Frost

17 Nika Abuladze

18 Josh Iosefa-Scott

19 Lewis Pearson

20 Ross Vintcent

21 Stu Townsend

22 Will Haydon-Wood

23 Olly Woodburn

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