TOP BAR - Fixtures

Rob Buchanan and Harlequins have both found some consistency

Rob Buchanan made his Harlequins debut all the way back in 2010 and since then has been doing his utmost to nail down the No.2 jersey at the Stoop.

And finally the 25-year-old appears to have made it stick, the hooker has started six of Quins’ seven games so far this season.

With Dave Ward and Joe Gray for competition, there is no risk of Buchanan resting on his laurels as the battle for playing time intensifies.

But the former England Saxon is loving life under new director of rugby John Kingston and relishing his turn in the limelight.

He has already started five Aviva Premiership Rugby games this season – the same total as he managed in the entirety of the last campaign – and hopes there is plenty still to come.

“I’m chuffed to bits,” he said.

“(The starting role) has been a main focus of mine for what is now my eighth season.

“And until now I have not quite done it but it is amazing what a difference it makes if you put a bit of confidence into a player.

“Certainly for me I have found it helps massively, I have had a couple of games where I have not played well but the coaches have given me a second chance to go out there and get it right.

“It has taken me a bit of time, and I have not played as well as I would have liked in a couple of games and I know I need to step it up with Joe and Wardy biting at my heels – they are not going to give me an easy ride.”

Last Thursday Quins downed Stade Francais to kick off their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign in style.

They made an inconsistent start to the domestic season with three wins – including memorable victories over Saracens and Northampton Saints – and three losses.

And Buchanan has called on his team-mates to use Europe as springboard back into league action as they head to Edinburgh this weekend.

“We are not a team that changes their whole side for this competition – it’s vital for us,” he added.

“Europe can be a crucial building block to our season, when we won against Stade in this competition back in 2011 that was a huge step to our league win the next year.

“We have got a bit of momentum going and that is everything in this game, it’s such a long season and once you have lost it, it is very hard to get it back.

“You want to build on your previous performances and keep improving. After beating Sarries we didn’t quite manage to do that against Wasps.

“But now with Northampton and then Stade hopefully we are on the right track.

“We have been implementing new things this season and making improvements week on week.

“It always takes a bit of time, you are never going to get it right straight away.”

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