Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Bristol Bears at Sixways Stadium (3pm).
Here’s what he had to say:
- At 21-3 down we showed terrific resolve and resilience and kept them try-less in the second-half until the 73rd minute when we were down to 14 men.
- Exeter are a power side and there are lessons to be learned but we were pleased with a lot of aspects of our game.
- Anyone who has watched Bristol in the Championship and their five Premiership matches knows how good they are.
- Bristol have prepared well in the Championship. They have had the same team, the same systems and the same coaching staff and they have brought in some big players.
- They are a possession-based team who are going to keep the ball.
- The crowd have a big role to play. We are anticipating a big crowd and our supporters mean a lot to us.
- It’s a two-way street. We have to give the crowd something to cheer about.
- The lads who have played week in, week out for us will be given a rest after the Gallagher Premiership block.
- We have genuine competition for places. That is healthy and the players who play in Europe will compete.
- The European matches will give an opportunity for guys who have not been involved as much to put their hands up and show they should be considered.
- Rory Duncan will oversee the team in the European Challenge Cup and the Premiership Rugby Cup.
- Josh Adams has trained and is looking good.
- Sam Lewis is fully fit.
- Duncan Weir is fully fit.
- Ethan Waller is back in training again.
- Ben Te’o is still struggling a little bit with a calf injury and hasn’t taken part in training this week.
- Wynand Olivier is close to playing again.
- Cornell du Preez is still in hospital and will be there for another two or three weeks. But he is improving. Everyone has been very supportive.
- Jamie Shillcock should be ready for our trip to Paris next week.
- Scott van Breda took part in training earlier this week and really enjoyed it. He probably won’t be fit for the first European Challenge Cup match.
- I have met with Jed McCrory and he seems to be a good bloke. He wants to do good things with the Club so it’s positive.
- We always get on with our jobs and don’t worry about the things we don’t control but it’s positive for the Club that the sale has now gone through.