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New boy Swiel among familiar faces at Harlequins

Exciting fly-half Tim Swiel has flown halfway around the world to join up with Harlequins, but in many ways the Stoop already feels like home for the South African.

The 21-year-old was drafted in on loan from Super Rugby’s Natal Sharks as injury cover for Ben Botica but he may not just be here to play second fiddle to Nick Evans.

Conor O’Shea has pegged him as a player with ‘real X-Factor’ and while he is set to grace Aviva Premiership Rugby until February, it’s not the first time he’s played on these shores.

Taunton-born Swiel left for South Africa while still a baby but returned on student exchange as a teenager and played with fellow Quins Kyle Sinckler and Jack Clifford for Surrey.

As such there’s been little trouble bedding in – kicking off his stay with an impressive cameo in the LV= Cup defeat to Saracens – and Swiel says Quins rugby is the perfect fit.

“It’s all happened quite quickly, I came across last week and was welcomed in nicely, and then I got a solid 35 minutes against Saracens,” he said.

“Coming into a situation like this at Quins was one of the many reasons why this opportunity was so good for me.

“I like to see myself as that type of player (with flair), I like to run with the ball and kick into the right areas of the field.

“There aren’t many more exciting teams than Harlequins as they have so many great players and play a brilliant style of rugby – they play with enjoyment and feed off each other.

“At the end of 2009 I went to Dulwich College for four months and I did everything I could in rugby there, playing for Surrey with Jack and Kyle and also for the south east of London.

“Meeting new people in a different environment was great and we played some good rugby together, I’m glad to be back for a while. It’s nice knowing a few faces and setting in so well.”

Swiel himself is still on the road to full fitness after sustaining niggling injuries in the Currie Cup, meaning he could afford no time off during the winter.

With the likes of Evans and Mike Brown among the camp – Swiel also has some experience at full-back – the opportunity to learn a trick or two is not something he’ll let pass him by.

“I played a bit of Super Rugby and learned a lot from that and after a few games in the Currie Cup, I had a knee and hip injury which stopped me playing for a while,” he added. “This is also an opportunity to get back fit.

“I know how many internationals there are here and to be around someone like Nick I know will help me a lot.

“My main position is fly-half but you can only learn around Mike Brown and I’d just be delighted to get out there and play with them.”

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

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