Munster head into the game on 17 points, 4 ahead of their opponents, knowing anything other then a loss will see them through.
Exeter are looking to become the first team in the competitions history to be winless after the first three pool games and still qualify. They are coming into the match after back to back bonus point victories against Gloucester and Castres.
Last weekend’s impressive 34-12 over the French giants ensured that they kept their faith in their own hands in the final round of pool fixtures.
Their revival will have its biggest challenge yet on Saturday, as Munster come into the game following their 41-15 demolition of Gloucester and confidence flying high.
In team news, Munster’s Peter O’Mahony has been passed fit to play after popping a rib in the win last weekend, and he will captain the side from the flank.
Here is your Munster team to face Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park in the Champions Cup tomorrow (5.30pm).
Full details > > https://t.co/M4wMv4bCdD#MUNvEXE #SUAF ? pic.twitter.com/pOOuamR8fu— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 18, 2019
Munster’s only change sees John Ryan come in for Stephan Archer, who in turn has a place on the bench.
Meaning Joey Carbery remains at No.10 following his 26 point man of the match performance last time out and will be looking to continue his fine form heading into the 6 Nations.
The Exeter Chiefs also have one change to their side with Harry Williams coming in for Tomas Francais, who misses out due to illness.
Jack Nowell starts at full-back, after England coach Eddie Jones claimed earlier in the week, that he may start him as an openside flanker during the 6 Nations.
The British & Irish Lion was awarded ‘Try of the Round’ for this effort last weekend against Castres.
#ICYMI @ExeterChiefs winger @nowellsy15 won Try of the Round (5) for this scintillating score ?
Back from injury, he hot-footed through the @CastresRugby to touch down in the opening minutes as Chiefs got back on track in the #ChampionsCup ?
? ➡️ https://t.co/s1n4KBZwVm pic.twitter.com/EZx0ACXrZM— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 17, 2019
Here’s how the Chiefs will line up.
? – TEAM NEWS: Here is the @ExeterChiefs side to face @Munsterrugby in tomorrow's @ChampionsCup Rd 6 clash at Thomond Park (5:30pm) ⬇️https://t.co/t7gCY24Kvq pic.twitter.com/22dFwMFfAZ— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) January 18, 2019
Chiefs director of rugby, Rob Baxter, has admitted the task his side face is a hard one, but everything is to fight for despite the challenge.
“We know we have to force that
four pointseparation of either a 4-0 or 5-1 victory. We’re very much aware of that and how tough that makes it for us. However, there is still something tangible there for us to go out and fight for”
Saturday evening will see two top sides battle it out for a quarter-final spot.
The reality is that Exeter must overcome their biggest challenge yet as they head to Thomond Park for the first time, but one thing is for sure Munster won’t have it all their own way.
We’ve made our prediction for the game and all the other Pool 6 Fixtures here, check them out and let us know what you think.
Watch the game live on BT Sport, Saturday 17:30.
Exeter Ace Signs Contract Extension
Following the news that England star Harry Williams has agreed a new deal with Exeter Chiefs another star player has committed his future to the Premiership giants
The eight-cap England international has agreed a new “long-term” deal that will see him remain at Sandy Park for the foreseeable future and he is delighted to be staying at his hometown club.
“Obviously, I’m delighted. To be at one club your whole career is pretty rare these days. The fact it’s my hometown club as well, it’s brilliant, and I feel very privileged to be part of the Chiefs. Luckily for me, I’ve been part of a brilliant journey – one which I know has plenty of miles still to go. What we have achieved as a club, as a team, and as individuals, it’s taken a huge amount of work and effort, but everyone has seen the result,” he said to the club’s website.
Moon has been with the Chiefs since his time in the academy and has managed to pick up an incredible 259 appearances for the club, notching 11 tries in that time.
He has been part of the team since their time in the English second-tier and has helped them rise up the ranks, culminating in a Premiership crown in 2017.
It is further good news for the current Premiership league leaders after fellow England international Harry Williams signed a contract extension with the club over the weekend as the Chiefs build toward the future.
EPCR Confirm European Competition Postponements
European Rugby have announced that the latter stages of the Champions and Challenge Cups will be pushed back due to coronavirus
EPCR have released a statement to confirm that the semi-final and final stages of this year’s Champions and Challenge Cup will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week it was announced that the quarter-final stage set to take place across the first weekend of April would be suspended and now the final stages have followed suit as expected the ECPR have confirmed.
“Following a conference call on Monday, the EPCR board can reconfirm the suspension of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments and has furthermore decided to postpone the semi-final matches, as well as the 2020 Marseille finals, which were due to be played on the weekends of 1/2/3 May and 22/23 May respectively. In making the decision, the board is abiding by the official directives and recommendations of the relevant authorities in its territories to restrict the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the earlier postponement of its quarter-final matches and with fixtures in Europe’s professional league competitions currently suspended due to the public health crisis, EPCR believes it necessary to provide as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders regarding the knockout stages of its tournaments. To that end, EPCR is working with the leagues and unions to restructure a conclusion to its season as part of a wider rescheduling of the remainder of the season in Europe, with all contingencies underpinned by the requirement to protect the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community. EPCR remains committed to completing the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, and it is planned to reschedule the quarter-final and semi-final matches, as well as the Marseille finals, in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities,” the statement read.
The final weekend was set to take place in Marseille and reports last weekend had claimed that officials were still hopeful of finishing there on the chosen date.
However, even with this announcement it is hard to see when they will conclude the European season as all domestic leagues have been suspended until further notice and the clock is ticking toward the start of next season as it appears unlikely that any rugby will be played in the foreseeable future.
Saracens Face EPCR Misconduct Hearing
Saracens are set to face yet another hearing but this time it’s on the European front
Saracens are set to face a misconduct hearing with the EPCR today at 18 00 the European Rugby body have confirmed.
The reigning Champions Cup holders are in trouble after they informed officials earlier in the week that they may have fielded an ineligible player during their Champions Cup win over Racing 92 last month which sealed them a quarter-final place.
The player in question is Titi Lamositele, who came off the bench in the 60th minute of the clash against the Top 14 side. It is understood that when the squad was announced for the game that the player was eligible.
However, his work permit did in fact expire on January 18th, with the game taking place on the 19th, which could have caused a breach in the disciplinary rules.
It is the latest blow in what has been a dramatic season to date for the Premiership outfit, who were found to have breached salary cap regulations in the competition and being fined and docked points before being relegated outright last month.
They were docked further points recently to ensure that they will finish the season in last place in the Premiership.
While on the European front they have already caused problems for the EPCR by failing to show up to the competition’s opening event.
Despite all the drama they have managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup and will face last season’s beaten finalists Leinster away from home, but it remains to be seen what their latest punishment could be if found guilty.