Break from games will help Exeter Chiefs recover
EXETER Chiefs boss Rob Baxter thinks the two-week break from matches will help the injured players in his squad recover.
With the Sandy Park outfit out of the LV= Cup, they do not play again until Leicester head to Devon on March 23 (5pm).
And the head coach hopes he will have more players in contention for that game to boost the Chiefs' chances of success.
Baxter had to do without the influential trio of Jason Shoemark, Dean Mumm and Hoani Tui for last weekend's match against Harlequins.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
However, the strength in depth was shown with the 27-16 victory in London.
Lock James Hanks was an unused replacement for that match as he returns from a pelvic injury and will be fully fit by the time the Tigers come calling.
Front-rowers Brett Sturgess and Chris Whitehead should also be available, along with winger Gonzalo Camacho.
However, hooker Simon Alcott is still being monitored and eased back into training from a neck injury and back-row duo Tom Johnson and James Phillips are a little way from being able to play.
"We're anticipating the three guys who had to pull out from the week before – Dean Mumm, Hoani Tui and Jason Shoemark – all being fit," Baxter said as he looked ahead to the Leicester match.
"James Hanks was on the bench (at Harlequins) and is pretty much there but we obviously didn't use him last weekend because he's only just about there. He'll be up and running to a higher degree.
"Guys like Dave Ewers have been back a while, Chris Whitehead should be good to go, Brett Sturgess should be good to go so we are getting there.
"That bodes well to be able to fly into the last five games and see what we can get out of them. It's not like we've got to pick someone who's injured, we should be fresh and flying and ready to attack everything that comes at us."
With five games of the Aviva Premiership campaign to go, Exeter are in a battle to try to make it into the top six as they bid for a place in next season's Heineken Cup.
Only the top four are guaranteed a place in the elite European competition, with the other two places going to the winner's of the LV= Cup if they are not in the top four and an English side that wins the Amlin Challenge Cup, if they have not already qualified for the Heineken Cup another way.
Five points separate Gloucester, in fifth, Wasps, Bath and eighth-placed Exeter as they battle for positions in the mid-table.
Baxter is keen his players do not get distracted by that and keep focused on each game as it comes as every side they have to play – bar Worcester – has something to play for.
"There's a lot of people already talking about the various permutations that will make up the top four or top six over the next set of games," he said.
"What we did very well last week was we looked at the Harlequins game very much as a one-off and attacked it in that manner, like it was a cup game. That's got to be our approach until the end of the season.
"Any one of the games could end up being the deciding game if we go well.
"We'll approach every one flat-out and it's vital we get something out of every game now."