Fixtures - Top Bar

Ben Botica urging Harlequins not to underestimate Grenoble

BenBoticaAvivaTacklingNumbers2

Grenoble may not have the same star-studded line-up as Ben Botica’s Harlequins side, but the Kiwi fly-half insists they cannot underestimate their French opponents on Friday evening.

Conor O’Shea will call on every one of his international stars for the crucial European Challenge Cup semi-final at Twickenham Stoop, with the semi-final against Bernard Jackman’s side their final realistic chance for silverware this term.

While Grenoble do not boast the same plethora of Six Nations winners as Quins, their back three includes former Springbok Gio Aplon, and  fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski who kicked Guinness PRO12 leaders Connacht out of the competition in the last round.

Defeat to Saracens at Wembley on Saturday meant the south-west London outfit are all but mathematically certain to finish outside of Aviva Premiership Rugby's semi-final spots, but Botica is adamant there is no negativity in the squad ahead of the biggest game of the season.

“It was always going to be tough against Saracens as they are such a tough outfit, and unfortunately we couldn’t string it together at Wembley,” said Botica, who was at St Michael & St Martin Catholic Primary School in Hounslow on Wednesday to take part in an Aviva Tackling Numbers session.

“But the boys know this is a completely different competition. We’re playing knockout rugby so the excitement in the camp is outstanding.

“We played them [Grenoble] two years ago in pre-season, but we’ve not seen much else since, so we have had to do our homework.

“By all accounts they play a bit like us so it should make for a thrilling game of rugby. Their back-three in particular is so dangerous.

“They have Aplon at the back and he is lightning-quick. He’s very much like a Christian Wade type of character, where if you give him the space he will carve you up.

“Grenoble like playing out the back, getting the ball out wide, and we do all those things too so it will be a great match-up. We just have to make sure we don’t switch off in attack or defence for the whole game, or they’ll punish us.”

Aviva Tackling Numbers, in partnership with Premiership Rugby, is an innovative programme for 7-9 year olds which makes learning about numbers and financial education fun and engaging.

Through the programme, which is delivered by the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs, 64,000 children have been introduced to maths and numbers outside of the regular classroom environment.

Botica joined Harlequins teammate James Chisholm and England World Cup winner Will Greenwood at the Hounslow school to take part in a session and play in a game of tag rugby, and he is confident the scheme is making the subject more accessible than ever before.

“Combining sport and maths certainly makes the whole thing more fun,” he said. “And I know a lot of people – myself included – struggle to recall some of the things that they learned when they were younger.

“When I was a kid I used to like trying maths but couldn’t necessarily make all that much sense of it.

“So I certainly think this kind of method will help the information stick by showing the numbers in a different light, and the kids have reacted really positively to us being here and working with them.

“We had a maths quiz between James Chisholm and myself – which I’m delighted to say I won – before playing a bit of tag rugby as well, which has been great fun for the kids.”

Ben Botica was speaking at an Aviva Tackling Numbers session. In partnership with Premiership Rugby, #AvivaTacklingNumbers helps 7-9 year olds put foundations in place for better financial skills later in life through the power of rugby. To find out more and try a maths test, visit aviva.co.uk/tacklingnumbers

 

Latest News

Anthony Watson targets England jersey ahead of Bath Rugby return

Anthony Watson is a man on a mission for club and country in 2017, hell-bent on regaining his England shirt ahead…

anthonywatson16sb1111theclash

Bristol Rugby skipper David Lemi returns for Pau clash

David Lemi returns as skipper when Bristol Rugby face Pau in the European Challenge Cup on Sunday (3pm KO). Only…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Will Spencer and Connor Braid set for Worcester Warriors debuts

Worcester Warriors duo Will Spencer and Connor Braid will make their club debuts this Saturday when they take on Newport…

carlhogg1111sb1617

Exeter Chiefs side to face Bordeaux Begles

Nothing less than victory will suffice for Rob Baxter and his Exeter Chiefs side ahead of Sunday’s European Champions Cup…

Jack Nowell in last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena

Kurtley Beale named in Wasps team to face Connacht Rugby this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena Wallaby signing Kurtley Beale…

Kurtley Beale will make his Wasps debut in the Champions Cup

England quartet return for Saracens European clash with Sale Sharks

Saracens have named their side to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round three of the European Rugby Champions Cup clash…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Harlequins team to play Timisoara Saracens

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Timisoara Saracens in Round 3 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Leicester Tigers team news for European Champions Cup trip to Ireland

Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Saturday's European Champions Cup trip to face Munster…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks name side to face Saracens in European Rugby Champions Cup

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday (kick off…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Ewels and Stooke back for Bath Rugby

Charlie Ewels and Elliott Stooke both return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up tomorrow when they face Cardiff Blues in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fisher hails ‘outstanding’ Gloucester Rugby after La Rochelle win

Gloucester Rugby ran in four tries as they romped to an impressive European Rugby Challenge Cup win over La Rochelle,…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Shervington re-joins Wasps on short-term contract

Edd Shervington has signed a three-month contract with the club to provide cover at hooker, following injuries to Tom Cruse…

Edd Shervington

Dean Hammond – We’ll play a positive brand of rugby

Winger Dean Hammond insists Worcester Warriors will play a positive brand of rugby as they prepare for Saturday's European Challenge…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…

tvrelease1111

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Sam Egerton ready for fierce Lyon challenge

Scrum-half Sam Egerton believes Newcastle Falcons can push on and meet ‘fire with fire’ against Lyon in the European Rugby…

Sam Egerton making a break against Ospreys in the Challenge Cup

Geoff Parling: Chiefs can draw European inspiration from last season’s heroics

Following two defeats from two, qualification for the European knock-out stages may look like mission improbable – but if there’s…

666709985_ht_1936_5ffe036790f2651d04cf02d772136916.jpg

Aaron Morris desperate for Quins to sort out away form

Aaron Morris is proud of Harlequins’ record at the Stoop but the full-back has warned his teammates the season will…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fenton-Wells confident Lam will make impact at Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby flanker Nick Fenton-Wells is confident the club have acquired a top coach in Pat Lam but won’t let…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library