Fixtures - Top Bar

O’Shea’s Harlequins in it for the long haul

ConorOSheaHarlequins1516SB1005

Harlequins head into the New Year in the Aviva Premiership Rugby top four and director of rugby Conor O’Shea believes temperament will decide whether or not they stay there.

Last season Quins were in touch with the play-off spots at the turn of the year, only to fall away in the second half of the campaign and finish well outside the top half.

O’Shea addressed that disappointment with a host of summer signings – Tim Visser, Adam Jones, Jamie Roberts and James Horwill among the arrivals.

So far, so good as Harlequins sit six points clear of fifth-place Northampton Saints after seven rounds, with a 38-28 win at Bath Rugby in late October among the early-season highlights.

The late start to the season – delayed by the Rugby World Cup – will ensure squads across the competition are tested in the New Year and O’Shea is hoping to see his crop rise to the challenge.

“We are excited and we are very ambitious this year,” he said. “There is such a long way to go but it is nice to have a few points on the board.

“As a squad we have got a few knocks and bruises, nothing long-term. It will be survival of the fittest and we know this is a very important mini block of the league.

“There is a really good buzz around the place. Everyone always says it’s going to be the hardest Premiership it has ever been but I think this year, partly because of the schedule, it is going to be brutal.

“You have to be prepared to understand that things are going to go wrong for you and it is going to be the teams that don’t over react and keep their cool who come out on top.”

The gap to Northampton could have been even bigger, were Harlequins not held to a 39-39 draw by Gloucester Rugby at Twickenham on Sunday.

Big Game 8 proved to be a thrilling ten-try contest, in which Gloucester centre Henry Trinder grabbed a pair of intercept scores and Quins fly-half Nick Evans missed a last-gasp drop goal to win it.

“Even on reflection, it was a bizarre game,” added O’Shea. “You knew that people had been treated to a cracking game of rugby and it takes two sides to come out with a willingness to play.

“Credit to Gloucester for hanging in there but a lot of it was in our own control – but we kept on coming back, we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves and we had a drop-goal to win it at the end. In a long season, it will be a lesson learnt.”

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.

Latest News

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library