Team news: Two new faces for Chiefs Women’s cup trip to Welford Road


There are two new players in Exeter Chiefs Women’s squad for tomorrow’s final Allianz Cup pool game against Leicester Tigers Women at Welford Road.

Brand-new signing Maddie Feaunati has been selected at No 8 while winger Harriette Bond get's her debut on the wing. Fe’aunati comes in for Niamh Orchard who played for Exeter University on Wednesday.

Tomorrow’s game will also see the return of hooker Daisy French, who is on loan from Crediton to cover a shortage of players in that position.

Assistant coach Steve Salvin said: “Maddie joined us from New Zealand about 10 days ago now. She looks like a really powerful ball carrier so it will be interesting to see how she’s able to put her best foot forward in terms of performance this weekend.

“We have a little bit of a hooker shortage with Emily (Tuttosi) away with Canada and Clara (Neilson) away with Ireland, and Alicia (Print) has picked up a little bit of bump this week, so we have called Daisy back in. We know Daisy’s qualities; she is a very good player. She will have no issues coming back into the squad and doing a really good job for us.

New player Maddie Fe'aunati to start at No 8

Salvin added: “I do not think of Harriette as a new player as she has been with us for what seems like quite a long time now. It’s her first appearance for Chiefs, she is in a very similar ballpark to a lot of the other university girls in that they are exceptionally talented and exceptionally driven, and just needs an opportunity to play. Fortunately, we can give her that this weekend and I am absolutely certain she will thrive.”

The top two teams in each pool will progress to the final four. In pool A, Chiefs and Bears Women are currently both on 10 points with Bristol due to travel to Sale tomorrow. However, the Bears are lacking a game due to the withdrawal of Warriors Women, but it looks like this will not make a difference to the final standings.

In pool B, Gloucester-Hartpury top the table with 13 points with Saracens and Harlequins on 12 each. Gloucester-Hartpury go to Saracens tomorrow while Harlequins have their bye week.

While looking for the win to secure their semi-final spot and to produce a decent performance, Chiefs Women will be dealing with the unknown as they will face a new side in this competition.

Winger Eilidh Sinclair said: “I have been with Chiefs since we have been in the Prem, so I can imagine how those girls are feeling as a new team.

“They have played a few games and we have been able to analyse them and see what we think they are going to bring, but they will keep growing as the season goes on, so I think every game that they come into will be a little bit unknown for every team that comes up against them.”

Chiefs Women kick-off against Tigers Women at 2pm tomorrow.

Exeter Chiefs Women

15 Katie Buchanan
14 Eilidh Sinclair
13 Danielle Preece
12 Sophie Langford
11 Harriette Bond
10 Ellie Cunningham
9 Brooke Bradley
1 Panashe Muzambe
2 Cliodhna Moloney
3 Lizzie Hanlon
4 Nichola Fryday
5 Linde van der Velden
6 Ebony Jefferies
7 Poppy Leitch (c)
8 Maddie Feaunati

16 Abby Middlebrooke
17 Daisy French
18 Hannah Sams
19 Harriet Millar-Mills
20 Felicity Powdrell
21 Olivia Ortiz
22 Naomi Brennan
23 Sammie Harris

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