Baxter urges Exeter to stay on top of the action

Chiefs coach anxious to maintain momentum created by team's battling display at Perpignan

The Exeter coach, Rob Baxter, has urged his players not to waste the good work of an eye-catching display against the French heavyweights Perpignan when they resume European business today.

The Chiefs pushed Perpignan to the wire in their Amlin Challenge Cup match at Stade Aimé Giral last week, ultimately being undone 15-12 by the Wales international James Hook's precision goal-kicking. But a losing bonus point, backed up by the prospect of a five-point maximum against Italian visitors Cavalieri Prato today, would keep Exeter firmly in Pool Four contention.

"We got a very valuable point in Perpignan and that keeps the whole group wide open for us," Baxter said yesterday. "We showed a great attitude. There are not many teams that go to Perpignan and only lose by three points, plus in the end they were glad to get the ball off the pitch.

"The key for us is not to go to a place like Perpignan, play such a well-known side, put in a passionate and action-packed performance and then go back to Sandy Park and not perform. If we lack edge against Prato, we will end up losing the game. It's a massive game."

Worcester also face an Italian team this weekend on the back of a loss to French opponents, but unlike Exeter they already appear in trouble. A home defeat against the Pool One favourites Stade Français has left the Warriors with their work cut out, although they should at least get the ball rolling at Crociati Parma today.

"My first game in Europe with Leeds was against Parma – and we lost," said the Worcester forwards coach, Phil Davies. "That was about 10 years ago, and Italian rugby has changed quite a bit since then. We don't know a great deal about them, certainly not as much as we did against Stade Français, but we do know they are a side that likes to throw the ball about and play."

Newcastle, conquerors of Lyons last weekend, will fancy their chances against Italian hosts Petrarca today.

On the international front Alun Wyn Jones is out of Wales' 3 December Test with Australia in Cardiff because of a dislocated toe. The 26-year-old second-rower will undergo surgery on the toe he injured in training this week and Ospreys hope he will be able to return to action before Christmas.

The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, may have a lock crisis as Luke Charteris is a doubt owing to a wrist injury. Ryan Jones replaces Jones for Ospreys' European visit to Treviso today and the versatile 30-year-old is favourite to partner Bradley Davies in the second row for the Australia Test at the Millennium Stadium.

Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones were Gatland's first-choice second-row pairing when Wales finished fourth at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The flankers Dan Lydiate and Justin Tipuric are also fitness doubts for the repeat of the World Cup third-place play-off.

The Bayonne scrum-half Mike Phillips has hinted he may miss the December international because non-Welsh clubs do not have to release their players for games outside the International Rugby Board window, unless individual contracts allow.

Perpignan's fly-half Hook will definitely miss the fixture because the game is not an IRB-sanctioned game while the Clermont Auvergne full-back Lee Byrne, Exeter prop Craig Mitchell and Sale Sharks pair Andy Powell and Dwayne Peel are also doubtful for the same reason.

Gatland's Wales squad meet on Monday to begin their Australian preparation but the Kiwi coach also has fitness worries over Leigh Halfpenny (ankle), Huw Bennett (neck) and Jonathan Thomas (thigh).

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London