Aviva Premiership: Gloucester vs Exeter Chiefs Preview

Gloucester will host reigning champs Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership, kick-off on Friday the 1st of September.
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Gloucester v Exeter | Friday 1 September | 19H45 | Kingsholm Stadium

To Win (80min)
Gloucester 17/10| Draw 18/1 | Exeter 5/10 

Former Lions Coach – Johan Ackermann will take on the Exeter Chiefs in the opening match of his Aviva Premiership campaign,  Ackermann will want to emulate the Lions' transformation at this year’s Super Rugby campaign after guiding them to their second semifinal before a red card decided his team's runner up position. A new challenge awaits him this season as Gloucester finished 9th last term with 13 losses and seven wins from their 22 matches.

New Signings
Ruan Ackermann (Lions), Fraser Balmain (Leicester Tigers), Gareth Denman (Northampton Saints), Jake Polledri (Hartpury RFC), Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers), Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers), Jason Woodward (Bristol Rugby), Ben Vellacott (Academy), Freddie Clarke (Academy), Lloyd Evans (Academy).

Joe Batley (Bristol Rugby), Darren Dawidiuk (London Irish), Paul Doran-Jones (Wasps), James Hook (Ospreys), Sione Kalamafoni (Leicester Tigers), Matt Kvesic (Exeter Chiefs), Greig Laidlaw (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Joe Latta (Bristol Rugby), Tom Lindsay (Bedford Blues), Salesi Ma’afu (RC Narbonne), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Mat Protheroe (Bristol Rugby), Dan Thomas (Bristol Rugby), Yann Thomas (Stade Rouennais)

Reigning Aviva Premiership Exeter won their title just two month’s ago after seven years of being promoted into top flight rugby, after narrowly edging out the London Wasps 23 – 20. The defending champs have signed 25-year-old former Gloucester flanker Matt Kvesic and he’s set to play against his former team this Friday. Last season the Chiefs only lost four matches from their 22, a massive achievement which they'll look to repeat and improve on. 

New Signings
James Freeman (Jersey Reds), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Tom O’Flaherty (Ospreys), Toby Salmon (Rotherham Titans), Wilhelm van der Sluys (Southern Kings), Nic White (Montpellier).

Will Hooley (Bedford Blues), Dave Lewis (Harlequins), Niko Matawalu (released), Geoff Parling (Melbourne Rebels), Damian Welch (Cardiff Blues), Ben White (Cardiff Blues), Matt Jess, Tom Johnson, Haydn Thomas (all retired)

Verdict: Exeter 5/10
At head to head encounters both teams are level with two wins apiece and one draw. With the restructuring happening at Gloucester this season it will be hard for them to start off with a bang against the title holders, as Gloucester have lost a total of fourteen players and are experiencing wholesale internal changes. Get on Exeter to win outright at 5/10.

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