Fixtures - Top Bar

Mark Mapletoft demands reaction from Harlequins starlets

Harlequins Head Coach Mark Mapletoft has urged his potential-rich youngsters to turn around last week’s loss when they play Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Mapletoft’s charges came up short against a powerful Sale Sharks side at the AJ Bell Stadium last Friday, losing 19-10 and face another tough challenge against last year’s losing Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists Exeter.

Despite boasting young English talents Kyle Sinckler, Sam Twomey, Luke Wallace, Jack Clifford  and Joe Marchant, Mapletoft feels it will take time to recover from losing the playing experience of Nick Easter.

Though Easter is now Quins’ defence coach, Mapletoft believes his talented squad still have masses of growth ahead of them.

“If you look through our pack, James Horwill and Chris Robshaw are old heads, but Joe Marler is still only 25, Kyle Sinckler, Sam Twomey, Jack Clifford and Luke Wallace are all young,” Mapletoft said.

“We have got potential but they are bedding down as a group, we have a new coach, new set-up.

“We are not talking about guys who have played a 100, 150, 200 games for the club. You have maybe three guys out of eight, when you lose someone like Nick Easter, there is a big drop off.

“Nick Easter was such an influential player, has moved into a different department. But he is talking and influencing rather than doing.

“It doesn’t happen overnight and you are relying on the guys performing well, we need to look after the ball and we are hoping that is addressed on Saturday.”

A trip to Sandy Park, where they have not won since May 2014, is daunting challenge and Mapeltoft knows his side must tighten their maul defence ahead of the trip to Devon.

Chiefs are famed for their driving work while Quins struggled to contain Sale’s power game at the lineout last week.

“The maul is such a key area of the game, if the opposition get it well set then it can be almost impossible to defend,” the 44-year-old added.

“Exeter have had a lot of success with the driving maul – every team uses it as a weapon, it is hard to defend if it gets going.

“It is such a potent weapon, when the conditions become difficult it becomes even more of a factor.

“We have talked about it this week, we have addressed it and you have to hope there is going to be a discernible change.”

Latest News

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…


Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins