Premiership: Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins

Premiership: Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins

Jack Nowell’s return to action will be a boost for England ahead of their tour to Australia – he has not played since breaking his arm in the Six Nations in March
Venue: Sandy Park Date: Saturday, 4 June Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

England winger Jack Nowell plays for the first time in 10 weeks as Exeter end their season against Harlequins.

Nowell has not played since breaking his arm for England against France in March and is one of five changes.

Quins name a strong side despite being unable to improve on third place, as they prepare for the play-offs.

Tyrone Green and Aaron Morris return after long-term injuries, while Will Evans, Joe Marler and Will Collier all return to the forward pack.

George Hammond, James Chisholm and Luke Northmore all return to the Harlequins bench after recovering from injuries.

Exeter, who could finish fifth if results elsewhere go their way, see Harvey Skinner come in at centre and Stu Townsend start at scrum-half.

Welsh youngster Dafydd Jenkins comes in at lock, while Richard Capstick starts at number eight.

Scotland back-row Sam Skinner is in line for a farewell appearance from the bench as he prepares to end an eight-year spell at Sandy Park before moving to Edinburgh.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

“It’s probably more important individually for some of the players, and probably more important for us to show what we’re about in front of what potentially could be our biggest home crowd of the season.

“I’m not talking about it’s necessarily vital to win the game, but I think it’s really important for us to just be ourselves and really express ourselves and enjoy what we’re doing.

“For a lot of guys this season has become a little bit of an emotional struggle as much as anything else, and I think there’s reasons for that.

“There’s not many players we’ve got in this squad who can remember being outside the top four, and that feels quite scary.”

Harlequins’ senior coach Tabai Matson told BBC Radio London:

“For us it’s a springboard into the semi-final. You want to go in feeling sharp, so that’s probably the thinking behind the preparation.

“One of the things out of the Gloucester game is we look like a team that’s played one game in three weeks, so you don’t want to look like a team that’s played two games in five weeks against our semi-final opponents.

“Making sure that we roll into Exeter and play well, so we can be sharp for the semi-finals, is a really important part of this week’s preparation.”

Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Whitten, H Skinner, Woodburn; J Simmonds, Townsend; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Gray, Jenkins, Ewers, Vermeulen, Capstick.

Replacements: Harris, Kenny, Street, S Skinner, Grondona, S Maunder, O’Brien, Cordero

Harlequins: Green; Lynagh, Marchant, Esterhuizen, Morris; Smith, Care; Marler, Walker, Collier, Symons, Tizard, Lewies (capt), Evans, Dombrandt

Replacements: Gray, Els, Louw, Hammond, Chisholm, Gjaltema, Allan, Northmore

Referee: Ian Tempest

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