Fixtures - Top Bar

Jack Clifford keen to get Harlequins’ 150th season off to a winning start

Harlequins’ Jack Clifford spent much of his teenage years watching Chris Robshaw take to the field at Twickenham – but now he is ramping up his bid to run out alongside his mentor at the London Double Header.

The 23-year-old had a taste of the Aviva Premiership Rugby curtain raiser back in 2014, but now feels he is ready to make the step up and take a place in the Quins XV after being forced to settle for a 20-minute replacement appearance in the win against London Irish.

Clifford goes into this year’s clash with new-boys Bristol Rugby on the back of a stellar year.

Earning international honours with England, the flanker debuted in the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland – a replacement for Robshaw – for the first of his eight caps, and now believes the London Double Header is the next step on that journey.

“A couple of years ago I came off the bench and played a few minutes, but it was one of the first times I had a proper experience of playing at Twickenham, a special occasion for me which I’ll always cherish,” said Clifford.

“Now my aim is to get that starting position for the Quins, but we have such a strong back row.

“Chris himself is in there; George Naoupu and Mat Luamanu are there too who are strong and powerful hitters, so it’s a huge fight for that starting position but I’m incredibly determined to get there knowing the prize.

“To be able to start alongside Chris would be fantastic, particular in such a momentous 150th year for the club.

“But any opportunity I get to run out for Quins, whether that is on the bench or starting, is massive for me. Any opportunity I get this season would be great.”

The 2014 London Double Header was a marked breakthrough for Clifford; as he went on to play more than 1,500 minutes for Quins in the season after bit-part opportunities in his previous two campaigns.

It’s a starting point which he hopes can be replicated this time around, with the flanker hoping to play a key role with a new coaching setup in place at The Stoop which sees John Kingston taking up the role of Director of Rugby.

“This season we’ve got new coaches and new people at the top, but there are still new faces so we want to prove a point,” he added.

“The new guys such as John will want to prove a point this season, and we want to be pushing on and all that starts with Bristol.

“We’ll be the first to admit that the past couple of seasons we’ve not been where we’ve wanted to be and it’ll be so important to get this season off to a good start – there’s no better place to do that than at Twickenham.”

Aviva Premiership Rugby returns this weekend. For a full fixture list please click here

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…