exeter chiefs samoan international josh tatupu, image courtesy exeter chiefsSkipper Tom Hayes is back to lead Exeter Chiefs in today's pre-season friendly against Championship outfit Cornish Pirates at the Mennaye Field, Penzance (1700).

The Irishman, who was an ever present in the Aviva Premiership for the Chiefs last season, was only a spectator as the Chiefs won 47-10 at Connacht last Saturday. Minor neck surgery over the summer meant Hayes has been held back until today.

Hayes re-introduction is one of 14 changes head coach Rob Baxter has made to his starting XV for the game against the Pirates, who last season lost out in the Championship play-off final to Worcester Warriors.

The only man who keeps his place from that which took to the field at Dubarry Park a week ago is summer signing Josh Tatupu (pictured) who has been switched from wing to centre. The Samoan international joins fellow newcomers John Andress, Aly Muldowney, Ben White, Kevin Barrett and Myles Dorrian in a powerful looking Exeter line-up.

Those changes, plus the inclusion of some of the club's more established names, means Baxter will have cast his eye over 34 of his players during the opening two fixtures - and it's from these two displays that the Exeter boss will then finalise his squad for the club's final pre-season test against Scarlets next Saturday at Sandy Park (1500).

Pirates are looking forward to testing themselves against Premiership opposition.

High performance manager Chris Stirling - whose side travel to Sixways next weekend to face Worcester Warriors - said: "We couldn't ask for more in terms of quality with the two pre-season games. Exeter will be sending down a really strong squad and this is their main game for the week – they aren't just slotting us in. These two games will give us a really good lead into season."


15 Myles Dorrian

14 Mark Foster

13 Sireli Naqelevuki

12 Josh Tatupu

11 Nic Sestaret

10 Ignacio Mieres

9 Kevin Barrett

1 Ben Moon

2 Neil Clark

3 John Andress

4 Aly Muldowney

5 Tom Hayes (capt)

6 Chad Slade

7 Ben White

8 James Phillips


16 Simon Alcott

17 Brett Sturgess

18 Chris Budgen

19 Chris Bentley

20 Richard Baxter

21 James Scaysbrook

22 Haydn Thomas

23 Matt Jess

24 Bryan Rennie

25 Jason Shoemark

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