Exeter Chiefs will be without last Sunday’s quarter-final man of the match Jacques Vermeulen when they host Toulouse in this Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final at Sandy Park.
Vermeulen was a constant thorn for Northampton, running in tries and energetically making his presence felt, but the South African back row misses out this week for reasons that Exeter failed to clarify in their team announcement.
Vermeulen’s place is taken by Scotland international Sam Skinner, a sub last weekend, while on the bench Dave Dennis and Don Armand are included with Jannes Kirsten making way.
Exeter boss Rob Baxter told his club’s website: “The key thing this week is that we don’t get too excited about the game too quickly.
“For a game like this, you have to expend a huge amount of emotional energy, but not in the build-up. Our aim has to be to have those emotional batteries full for kick-off, then release it all from the outset.”
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Toulouse make one change to the XV that defeated Ulster last Sunday, Julien Marchand taking over from Peato Mauvaka at hooker.
EXETER: 15. Stuart Hogg; 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Ian Whitten, 11. Tom O’Flaherty; 10. Joe Simmonds (capt), 9. Jack Maunder; 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Harry Williams, 4. Jonny Gray, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Dave Ewers, 7. Sam Skinner, 8. Sam Simmonds. Reps: 16. Jack Yeandle, 17. Ben Moon, 18. Tom Francis, 19. Dave Dennis, 20. Don Armand, 21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22. Gareth Steenson, 23. Ollie Devoto.
TOULOUSE: 15. Thomas Ramos; 14. Yoann Huget, 13. Sofiane Guitoune, 12. Pita Ahki, 11. Cheslin Kolbe; 10. Romain Ntamack, 9. Antoine Dupont; 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Joe Tekori, 6. Jerome Kaino (capt), 7. Francois Cros, 8. Selevasio Tolofua. Reps: 16. Peato Mauvaka, 17. Rodrigue Neti, 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 19. Alban Placines, 20. Louis Madaule, 21. Alexi Bales, 22. Zack Holmes, 23. Matthis Lebel.
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