sport

Clermont v Exeter preview

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has named four changes to his starting line-up for his side's Heineken Cup clash at Clermont Auvergne on Saturday (6pm).

There are two changes amongst the backs at Stade Marcel Michelin, with Kiwi centre Jason Shoemark coming in for Ian Whitten and Kevin Barrett replacing Haydn Thomas, who is sidelined with a head injury.

Up front, James Scaysbrook takes over from Ben White at blindside flank whilst captain Tom Hayes replaces Dean Mumm at lock.

The Chiefs head into the fixture having not won in their last three Premiership fixtures, the last of which was Saturday's first loss in the league to visiting Northampton Saints at Sandy Park.

However, despite the setback, Baxter remains positive that his side are continuing to show signs of improvement.

Baxter said: "We will go over there this weekend knowing what we have to do, but there are lots of teams who have gone there knowing what to do, but still come unstuck.

"An element of our plan has to be to try and get in their faces, break them up as much as we can, whilst at the same time trying to force our game on them.

"That's the challenge for us, so we'll see how we go."

Meanwhile, Clermont have made just two changes to their run-on side that beat Montpellier last weekend in a Top 14 encounter.

At outside centre, Regan King replaces fellow New Zealander Benson Stanley while Jamie Cudmore takes over from Julien Pierre at lock.

Clermont look comfortable as they head into this match, with an eight-point lead at the top of the Pool Five standings. The Top 14 outfit are one of only three teams - Toulon and Harlequins are the others - who remain unbeaten in the competition.

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Jean-Marcel Buttin, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.

Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 David Skrela, 23. Benson Stanley.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Ben Moon.

Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Ally Muldowney, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.