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Illness forces Harlequins into late change

By Ian Cameron
Joe Marler /PA

Harlequins have been forced into a late change with England prop Joe Marler being withdrawn from the matchday team.

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It’s a blow for the Londoners. Harlequins haven’t defeated Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park since May 2014.

A statement from Harlequins reads: ‘Prop Joe Marler is ruled out of the starting team due to illness. Argentinian international Santiago Garcia Botta will start at loosehead in the 1 jersey, with Fin Baxter stepping into the matchday 23 to wear the 17 jersey amongst the replacements.”

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England and British and Irish Lions fly-half Marcus Smith returns to start for Harlequins today in what will be his first match of the season. Smith is joined in the matchday squad by fellow England international Danny Care, who will look to appear from the bench.

The halfbacks’ fellow summer tourist Jack Walker will lead the side in his first start of the season as the team travels to Sandy Park, joined in the front row by Wilco Louw following injury to Will Collier in Round 2.

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Quins have won just one of the last six matches in which they’ve scored three tries or less. Harlequins have seen advantage in getting opposition carriers on the deck quickly, aiming 60 per cent of their tackles at waist height or below.

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HARLEQUINS:
1. Santiago Garcia Botta
2. Jack Walker – Captain
3. Wilco Louw
4. George Hammond
5. Irne Herbst
6. Jack Kenningham
7. Will Evans
8. Archie White
9. Lewis Gjaltema
10. Marcus Smith
11. Cadan Murley
12. Lennox Anyanwu
13. Luke Northmore
14. Joe Marchant
15. Tyrone Green

REPLACEMENTS:
16. George Head
17. Fin Baxter
18. Simon Kerrod
19. Dino Lamb
20. Matas Jurevicius
21. Danny Care
22. Tommy Allan
23. Nick David

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