Minimal changes by Chiefs and Wasps for Sandy Park clash

Exeter Chiefs’ director of rugby Rob Baxter has seen little reason to tinker too much with his winning formula for their home clash with Wasps after notching an impressive away victory over Leicester Tigers last weekend.

The back division remains untouched from a week ago, whilst up front it’s merely a case of squad rotation in the front-row with international trio Ben Moon, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tomas Francis replacing Alec Hepburn, Jack Yeandle and Harry Williams.

With Yeandle on the bench, England international back-row forward Don Armand will assume the captaincy role for the game.

Meanwhile, Jake Cooper-Woolley is the only change to Wasps starting 15 that defeated Worcester Warriors last weekend.

The tighthead prop steps in for Will Stuart (ankle sprain) while Kieran Brookes returns to the first-team squad among the replacements for the first time since injuring his ankle in December’s Round 10 clash with Bath.

Cooper-Woolley starts in the front-row with hooker Tom Cruse and loosehead Zurabi Zhvania while Joe Launchbury skippers the side from the second-row next to James Gaskell.

An all-international back-row sees Brad Shields, Nizaam Carr and Nathan Hughes link up while Joe Simpson and Lima Sopoaga continue their half-back partnership.

Gaby Lovobalavu and Elliot Daly start in the centres with Willie le Roux, Josh Bassett and the in-form Marcus Watson in the back three – the latter of whom has scored four tries in his last four appearances.

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Don Armand (c), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Ian Whitten

Wasps: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Nizaam Carr, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Zurabi Zhvania Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Juan de Jongh

Venue: Sandy Park Kick-off: 15:00 BST Referee: Luke Pearce Assistant referees: Adam Leal, Greg Macdonald TMO: David Rose

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