London Irish scrum-half Piet van Zyl has scored four tries in his past four Premiership appearances
Aviva Premiership
Venue: Madejski Stadium Date: Sunday, 15 April Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Coverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport website

London Irish make one change to the side that beat Harlequins, with Sebastian De Chaves in for Jake Schatz.

Josh McNally moves to flanker with South African De Chaves in at second row, while Johnny Williams remains out.

Gareth Steenson returns to captain Exeter, who also recall England wing Jack Nowell to their starting XV.

Ian Whitten, Santiago Cordero, Ben Moon, Mitch Lees and Dave Ewers also come in, with Harry Williams, Moray Low and Thomas Waldrom named on the bench.

Exeter need only two points from their final three league games to confirm a home semi-final, while Irish know nothing less than a win will do to realistically keep their survival hopes alive.

Declan Kidney’s men will no doubt have eyes on Worcester’s trip to Wasps and Northampton’s fixture at Leicester on Saturday, with Warriors and Saints nine and 10 points respectively above them with just three games remaining.

London Irish technical consultant Declan Kidney told BBC Radio Berkshire:

“We haven’t had as long a turnaround this week as we’ve had the luxury of over the past four weeks we’ve been here, so hopefully the lads have responded well.

“They’re giving it everything and we’re up against a well-oiled machine in Exeter.

“But these are the challenges you get into top-flight rugby for – to play the best teams around.

“As long as survival is still mathematically there, we’ll keep fighting.”

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Sport:

“The only thing I’ve focused on with the players is that we’ve got a semi-final and we want to get a home semi-final for obvious reasons.

“But actually in a way the more important thing is the players using every training session and every game to challenge themselves, because ultimately the players and the team that’s going to be capable of winning semi-finals and finals are going to be groups of players who are used to performing right at the high end of their capabilities.

“I’m not actually looking at the result against London Irish, but I will be looking at their commitment to the game, how much intensity they bring to their individual and collective performances and we’ll have a really good look at the technical stats we get out of the game as well.”

London Irish: Bell; Cokanasiga, Fowlie, Brophy Clews, Lewington; Marshall, Van Zyl; Franks, Paice, Hoskins, Van der Merwe (capt), De Chaves, McNally, Northcote-Green, Treviranus.

Replacements: Porecki, Reid, Du Plessis, Basham, Schatz, Steele, Mulchrone, Tikoirotuma.

Exeter Chiefs: Turner; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, Cordero; Steenson (capt), White; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Francis, Lees, J. Hill, Ewers, Armand, S. Simmonds.

Replacements: Yeandle, Low, Williams, Skinner, Waldrom, Townsend, S. Hill, O’Flaherty.

Referee: JP Doyle.


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