Bristol boss Pat Lam has made nine changes to the side which clinched a seventh successive Premiership victory over Gloucester in round 15, beating the Cherry and Whites 33-24.
Charles Piutau and Luke Morahan are recalled to the backline, while Welsh-qualified Harry Randall is also included alongside Cardiffian fly-half Callum Sheedy.
In the pack, Max Lahiff and Bryan Byrne are named in the front row, while Ed Holmes and Dave Attwood form the second row partnership. Welsh flanker Dan Thomas is selected at openside.
Academy fly-half Ioan Lloyd, also from Cardiff, comes back into the 23-man squad and is listed among the replacements.As for Exeter, fresh from a 32-22 win at Sale Sharks, they have gone for 14 changes from their Friday night victory, with winger Olly Woodburn the only player to be retained in the starting line-up.
Wales prop Tomas Francis makes his first league start since May 2019, in a side skippered by Jack Yeandle.Behind, Scottish international Sam Hidalgo-Clyne gets his first start in the No.9 jersey for his new club, while fellow newcomer Josh Hodge will also make his Premiership debut at full-back.
Bristol Bears: 15. Charles Piutau, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Piers O’Conor, 11. Henry Purdy, 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Harry Randall, 1. Max Lahiff, 2. Bryan Byrne, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Dave Attwood, 6. Steven Luatua (capt), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nathan Hughes.
Replacements: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. John Afoa, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Ben Earl, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Alapati Leiua.Exeter Chiefs: 15. Josh Hodge, 14. Tom O’Flaherty, 13. Phil Dollman, 12. Tom
Hendrickson, 11. Olly Woodburn, 10. Gareth Steenson, 9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Jack Yeandle (capt), 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Dave Dennis, 5. Sam Skinner, 6. Jannes Kirsten, 7. Don Armand, 8. Sean Lonsdale.
Replacements: 16. Jack Innard, 17. Billy Keast, 18. Marcus Street, 19. Will Witty, 20. Richard Capstick, 21. Joe Snow, 22. Harvey Skinner, 23. Tom Wyatt.Who is the referee?Wayne Barnes is back in the middle for the first time since Gallagher Premiership Rugby’s restart.
Craig Maxwell-Keys and Karl Dickson will assist Barnes, while Rowan Kitt will be the TMO.What have the coaches said?Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam: “It’s a short turnaround from Friday and that brings an exciting challenge. The medical and athletic performance staff have done an outstanding job in ensuring that our squad availability remains extremely high and no major injuries.
“Everybody knows what a consistent and well-organised team Exeter are – you will be challenged physically and mentally throughout the game.”All big games are decided by getting the little details right for 80 minutes. So, improving the fundamental errors and our discipline from last week and working hard for the team is crucial if we want to have any chance of winning.”
Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter: “It’s our first short turnaround from a game at the weekend. Bristol Bears may have delivered seven-straight wins to rise into second in the Premiership but Pat Lam is demanding further improvements from his formidable side as they welcome league leaders to Ashton Gate on Tuesday night.
Bristol’s Director of Rugby has made nine changes to the starting XV which won 33-24 at Gloucester on Friday night for the visit of an Exeter team who have won their last five matches and are rightly regarded as Premiership favourites.Charles Piutau, who
was rested for the trip to Kingsholm, Luke Morahan and scrum-half Harry Randall return to the backline, while there’s a first start for centre Piers O’Conor since March 1 following his recovery from a neck injury.
In the forwards, Max Lahiff and Ed Holmes make their first starts since the season resumed while Bryan Byrne, Dave Attwood and Dan Thomas return to the team having played in the 16-12 victory over Saracens.Lam admitted Friday’s derby triumph over
Gloucester was a difficult one to celebrate given the errors Bristol made following a blistering opening 20 minutes in which they ran in three unanswered tries, from which the hosts never recovered.“Everybody knows what a consistent and well-organised team Exeter are – you will be challenged physically and mentally throughout the game,” Lam said.