Fixtures - Top Bar

O’Shea excited by Harlequins talent

ConorOShea1516SB1005

Conor O’Shea believes he has the best individuals available to him since he arrived at Harlequins – but the director of rugby is fully aware that is only half the battle.

Despite Harlequins seeing club stalwarts Ugo Monye, Tom Williams and Jordan Turner-Hall retire – as well as the likes of George Robson and Paul Doran-Jones move on to pastures new – the 2012 Aviva Premiership Rugby champions are just as packed with talent as ever.

And that is down to new imports such as James Horwill, Adam Jones, Jamie Roberts and Tim Visser, to name just a few, rocking up to the Stoop this season.

Since arriving at Harlequins O’Shea as has led the club to the Aviva Premiership Rugby title as well as LV= Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup success – all in the space of his first three seasons.

His last two campaigns though have seen Quins finish empty handed, while last year they finished their league season down in eighth place.

However, one look at the names he has around the place this season gives fills O’Shea with confidence for the new campaign – even if he knows he must bring them all together sooner rather than later.

“This is the best group of individuals I have had but they are not a team yet,” said O’Shea, who’s side welcome Wasps to the Stoop on Friday night to start their season.

“Harlequins were a group who had been through a lot of ups and downs when I joined and we went on three years of winning trophies and bringing young players through and finishing in the top four.

“We have had to make changes through people not being able to train and play anymore and it is always sad to see legends like Jordan Turner-Hall retire so young because of a hip problem and you forget what he did for the club.

“We will miss those sort of people but the excitement of what this group can do is great.

“When I think about the competition for places that is there – Will [Collier], Adam [Jones], Kyle [Sinckler] are going head-to-head in training like you wouldn’t believe and that can only be good for Will and Kyle.

“It is actually energising Adam and that is the same in every position. Looking at our back row with [Chris] Robshaw, [Nick] Easter, [Jack] Clifford, [Luke] Wallace, [James] Chisholm and Mat Luamanu who has just joined us and I think wow.

“But every club will say the same so we have to make sure we go out there and do the business on the pitch.”

In order to gel his new squad together O’Shea has been able to benefit from a longer pre-season than usual with the Rugby World Cup in action, but now the Irishman can’t wait to get going.

“It is the longest pre-season and we are all brilliant now because no one has lost a game for five months,” he added.

“We are really excited to have the new season right around the corner. Everyone knows that we had a tough time of it last season after being in decent shape going into the New Year and we just want to make sure we remember that for the previous three years we have been in the top four and we were getting back up there last year until the end of January onwards.

“We have done a fair amount of change within the squad over the summer with some legends of the club retiring, some players moving on and some pretty significant players coming in.

“And hopefully the marriage of the mental quality and experience we have coming in will mix with the young players and the experience they got in the face of adversity last year."

The 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby Season kicks off on 16 October. To see all of the fixtures click here.

Latest News

Owen Farrell leads the way in Europe

No one has more points in the European Rugby Champions Cup than Owen Farrell after the Saracens fly-half was exceptional…

Owen Farrell kicked five points in Saracens victory over Toulon

Bristol Grammar School To Host Land Rover Cup

Bristol Rugby Community Foundation’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup will be held at Bristol Grammar School’s Sports Ground on Clevedon…

Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Northampton Saints and its supporters have a long track record of getting behind the country’s servicemen and women. This has…

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Saracens to face Glasgow Warriors – Mark McCall reaction

Defending champions Saracens will face Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park in the quarter final stages of the European Rugby Champions…

Mark McCall

How the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals draw works

Following confirmation of the Champions Cup quarter-final line-up, the 2016/17 semi-final pairings will be as follows: Semi-final 1 - winner…

championscup17sb1111

Carlo Festuccia to re-join Wasps for remainder of season

Former Italy, Wasps and Zebre hooker, Carlo Festuccia, has re-joined Wasps on a short-term contract until the end of the…

Carlo Festuccia

Aviva Premiership Rugby European round-up: Wasps make quarter-finals

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was far from overawed by his side’s performance in Italy, despite a 41-27 success…

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 21:  Christian Wade  of Wasps scores a fourth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Zebre Rugby and Wasps at  Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on January 21, 2017 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

How the Challenge Cup semi-final draw works

If you've always struggled to work out how the semi-final draw of the European Challenge Cup works then look no…

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Lewis Ludlow of Gloucester scores his team's first try of the game during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Gloucester Rugby and Bayonne on January 21, 2017 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

JameHakellWapCa14B1005

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library