“I’ve watched them this season and they are a very big side,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths. “They’ve got a good scrum and it’s going to be a tough game.
“They used to be a bit of a bogey side for us, especially at Castle Park, but we’ve got a good record of late against them and we’ve laid that bogey.”
Pirates recorded three wins and a draw in their opening four league games of the season but have lost their last five – though four of those defeats were by seven points or less.
They also produced a spirited showing against leaders London Irish on home soil last weekend and three of the Exiles’ tries were scored when they were down to 14 men in a 20-minute spell either side of the break.
Said Griffiths: “As I say, it will be a tough game but we are at home and we’ll have the support of the crowd and they’ve played a big part in our success.
“We are still unbeaten at home and although our form hasn’t been as stand out as last season, we are always confident playing at Castle Park.
“We held on to our top-four spot over the weekend when we could easily have lost it.
“Due to the fact that it is so tight in and around us that could easily happen over the coming weeks unless we start to find more consistency.
“But it’s a long season and as long as we are there or thereabouts at the business end I’ll settle for that.”
Sunday’s game is live on Sky Sports.