Team News: Baxter makes a handful of changes for Sharks test

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Rob Baxter makes a number of changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Sale Sharks to Sandy Park, as players return from the Rugby World Cup and the Chiefs Director of Rugby rotates his front row.

Nika Abuladze comes straight in to start at loosehead after some impressive performances on international duty, the giant Georgian packing down alongside Dan Frost and Josh Iosefa-Scott.

In the back-line, Tommy Wyatt makes the expected switch to full-back after the injury to Josh Hodge against Harlequins, bringing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso onto the wing.

Chiefs’ fans will be thrilled to see Welsh internationals and rising stars, Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza on the bench, primed to make their return to Sandy Park for the first time this season.

For Baxter and his team, the challenge that Sale Sharks will present isn’t lost on anyone. Coming off the back of two impressive victories, including away at Welford Road last time out, Alex Sanderson’s team will bring real physicality to Devon as they look to maintain their 100% start.

“They’re an unbeaten team in the Premiership already, they had a great season last year getting to the final for the first time in a while, in many ways they’re a team on the up.

“They will certainly challenge us in numerous areas, to win at home and then back it up going away to Leicester that takes a bit of doing. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but a challenge that I hope we’re relishing.

“They play in a different way to Harlequins but that is one of the great things about the Premiership and it’s something we’ve got to adapt to quickly. It's a good learning opportunity for us, but it’s also another great opportunity to go out and play some good rugby in front of our own supporters, and start to build that new story and new group.”

Despite the defeat, the performance away at Harlequins showed plenty of promise, and if the Chiefs can finish off one or two more of the line-breaks this weekend they will cause the men from Manchester real problems.

Elsewhere on the team sheet, it’s as you were. Henry Slade captains the side this week with Jack Yeandle starting on the bench, whilst the back-row trio of Ethan Roots, Jacques Vermuelen and Greg Fisilau who performed so impressively in the capital will look to match the Sharks physicality.

Exeter Chiefs:

15 Tommy Wyatt
14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso
13 Henry Slade ©
12 Tom Hendrickson
11 Ben Hammersley
10 Harvey Skinner
9 Tom Cairns

1 Nika Abuladze
2 Dan Frost
3 Josh Iosefa-Scott
4 Rusi Tuima
5 Lewis Pearson
6 Ethan Roots
7 Jacques Vermeulen
8 Greg Fisilau


16 Jack Yeandle
17 Scott Sio
18 Ehren Painter
19 Dafydd Jenkins
20 Christ Tshiunza
21 Niall Armstrong
22 Will Haydon-Wood
23 Joe Hawkins

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