Two changes for Exeter Chiefs for Heineken Cup opener
Exeter Chiefs have been forced into making two changes to their starting line-up for Sunday's opening Heineken Cup match against Cardiff Blues (12.45pm).
Backs Tom James (ankle) and Sam Hill (shoulder) miss out, with Jason Shoemark returning in the centre and Fetu'u Vainikolo making his first start on the wing.
The rest of the starting XV from the 29-12 win at Gloucester remains, with Vainikolo's place on the bench taken by fellow Pacific Islander Sireli Naqelevuki.
And head coach Rob Baxter thinks his players should relish the challenge of tackling Europe's elite when they face the Welsh region.
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As well as being excited by the prospect of facing a host of internationals and British & Irish Lions, Baxter hopes that playing at Sandy Park will also inspire his troops.
"They have threats all over the field," Baxter said of the Blues. "This weekend our guys are going to be playing against British Lions and Welsh internationals, so we know it's going to be a tough game for us.
"We're aware that we will need to stay tight defensively and not make individual errors. That said, we're excited about the challenge, not just because it's the Heineken Cup, but also because we're at home and we're playing in front of our own supporters."
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Vainikolo, Whitten, Shoemark, Jess; Steenson, Lewis; Sturgess, Whitehead, Tui, Mumm, Welch, Johnson, White, Ewers. Reps: Yeandle, Moon, Rimmer, Armand, Horstmann, Thomas, Slade, Naqelevuki
Cardiff Blues: Halfpennyl; Cuthbert, Allen, Hewitt, Robinson; Patchell, L Williams; Jenkins, Rees, Filise, Davies, Paulo, Navidi, Warburton, Pretorius. Reps: Breeze, Hobbs, Andrews, Reed, Copeland, Jones, G Davies, Smith