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Post-exodus Exeter name radically changed 39-man double team for Bristol

By Ian Cameron
Sam Simmonds of Exeter Chiefs walks out of the tunnel prior to the Heineken Champions Cup Quarter Finals match between Exeter Chiefs and DHL Stormers at Sandy Park on April 08, 2023 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs have named a 39-man squad to play Bristol Bears in a pre-season match that will feature two separate starting teams and a shared bench.

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It’s the first game they will play since the exit of Sam and Joe Simmonds, Jack Nowell, Dave Ewers, Jannes Kirsten, Harry Williams and the retirement of Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg.

Summer arrivals Ehren Painter, Matt Poslethwaite and Ethan Roots will make their first starts for Exeter.

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“It feels very much like a start of an adventure in a lot of ways, I’m looking forward to watching the game, and I’m also looking forward to re-watching the game and assessing where the individual players are and getting the opportunity as a group of coaches to sit down and work with them to talk about where we can go forward,” said director of rugby Rob Baxter.

“I’m really excited about it, more excited about it than I have been in a little while, certainly in a different way.”

“I’ll say to the lads on Friday that there will be some of them sat in the changing room, who will be some of the people who will lift Exeter’s next major trophy and that’s the opportunity you get, that should be incredibly exciting for all of them.”

The team will feature a number of former internationals, not least former England centre Ollie Devoto, Ireland centre Rory Rory McLoughlin and Wallabies prop Scot Sio. Henry Slade, who was not picked by Steve Borthwick for the Rugby World Cup, is not listed in the 39-man matchday squad.

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“One with we have spent a huge amount of time on is our set piece, in the last couple of seasons one thing that has been a traditional strength for us has not been a strength, if anything it has been something that has broken up our game.

FIRST HALF: 15. Josh Hodge, 14. Ben Hammersley, 13. Tom Hendrickson, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. Tom Wyatt, 10. Harvey Skinner, 9. Tom Cairns, 1. Scott Sio, 2. Tom Yeandle, 3. Ehren Painter, 4. Matt Postelwaite, 5. Lewis Pearson, 6. Ethan Roots, 7. Richard Capstick. 8. Greg Fisilau

SECOND HALF: 15. Charlie McCaig, 14. Cian Gentry, 13. Rory McLoughlin, 12. Chester Ribbons, 11. Arthur Relton, 10. Will Haydon-Wood, 9. Will Becconsall, 1. Billy Keast, 2. Max Norey, 3. Patrick Schickerling, 4. Jack Dunne, 5. Ross Tuima, 6. Aidon Davis, 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 8. Ross Vintcent

REPLACEMENTS: 16. James Kenny 17. Oli Burrows 18. Marcus Street 19. Alfie Bell 20. Junior Kpoku 21. Joe Bailey 22. Kane James 23. Joe Snow 24. Kofi Barton-byfield

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Al 317 days ago

Go Chiefs!

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Jon 1 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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