H.Elo and welcome you Of the Telegraph Sports Live coverage of today’s second Gallagher Premiership semifinal between Exeter and Bath at Sandy Park, where the winner will face Waps in Tikenham in the final on Saturday 2 October.
After a thrilling, expansive wasps win at the Ricoh Arena earlier in the day, it’s expected to be a bit closer. Rob Baxter’s Exeter Chiefs have undoubtedly become a form team since the August reopening of the Premiership, but there has been some form of form in knockout rugby. Bath, who is at full strength, is a team that can clearly surprise the chiefs in Sandy Park less than the crowd.
Suitable for a Premiership semifinal, juicy match-ups will be available across the field but, as before, the back-row fight will be the most interesting. Dave Years, Jack Vermulan and Sam Symonds Tutsome, in contrast to three of the visitors, Tam Ellis, Sam Underhill and Taulup Falatu.
Bath England chief Henry Slade has admitted that preparations have been “different” this week, considering that Exeter did not learn about their semifinal opponent until Wednesday morning following the cancellation of the Sales match against Worcester.
“We could really play in any one of the three teams, so we have to make it this week,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then [on Weds morning] So we had some time to get things done for it, but overall it turned out to be a very good week for us and focusing on what we could bring; It was exciting. “
“[On Wednesday] We were able to look at the bath and adapt to a few bits. They’ve been in really great form since the restart and it’s going to be a really good game over the weekend. They have some really dangerous players throughout the team – especially on the back, where I know these few guys from international duty.
“They have threats everywhere so we have to stay with them, but I’m very excited to see what happened now because there’s a long wait for these play-offs with a lockdown in the middle.”