Fixtures - Top Bar

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

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

Match Reaction: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Years of hard-work have paid off for Exeter Chiefs according to head coach Rob Baxter, after the Devon side lifted…

AUDIO: Yeandle, Haskell and Townsend reflect on the Aviva Premiership final

Russell Hargreaves looks back on a dramatic and extended Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham, before speaking to victorious Exeter Chiefs…

Match Report: Wasps 20 Exeter Chiefs 23 (AET)

Seven years after kicking Exeter Chiefs into Aviva Premiership Rugby, skipper Gareth Steenson proved once again that ice runs through…

HITZ learning academy gear up for the Aviva Premiership Rugby final

Around 30 young people from across the country will be at this afternoon’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham to…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final: Review of the finalists’ most recent head-to-heads

Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final sees table-toppers Wasps face off against second-placed Exeter Chiefs, in what promises to be a…

Six things to look out for in this Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby Final

After nearly nine months of intense competition, the fate of the Aviva Premiership Rugby trophy comes down to 80 minutes…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Courtney Lawes revealed that he overcame illness to put in another man-of-the-match performance in Northampton Saints’ European Rugby Champions Cup…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 23 Stade Francais 22

Northampton Saints pulled off a stunning comeback victory to upset Stade Francais and secure European Champions Cup rugby for next…

Thomas Waldrom out to finish the job with Exeter Chiefs

Thomas Waldrom is ready to put the seal on a season of hard graft by helping Exeter Chiefs to lift…

Thomas Waldrom

Key moments of the season for our Aviva Premiership Rugby finalists

After two frantically-contested semi-finals, excitement is building for what will surely be a thrilling Aviva Premiership Rugby Final between Wasps…

Exeter Chiefs side to face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership Final

It was seven years today that Exeter Chiefs finally arrived at English rugby’s top table. On a wet and wild…

Olly Woodburn

Wasps team to play Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership Final

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his Wasps’ side for the Aviva Premiership Final against Exeter Chiefs, at Twickenham…

Josh Bassett and Willie Le Roux

Sean Maitland signs contract extension with Saracens

Saracens are delighted to announce that Scotland international Sean Maitland has signed a contract extension with the Club. Capped 28…

Sean Maitland

Ashley Johnson ready for daunting Twickenham final challenge

Wasps might have finished the Aviva Premiership Rugby season top of the table but hooker Ashley Johnson believes they will…

Netani Talei retires from rugby

Harlequins back-row Netani Talei has today (Thursday 25th May) announced that he will retire from the game following medical advice.…

Netani Talei

Aviva Premiership Rugby Final – safety of supporters

The safety of our supporters is of upmost importance to Premiership Rugby. As a result, we have been working for…

Win a Citizen Watch and a ball signed by this year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions

Celebrating being the Official Timekeeper of Premiership Rugby, Citizen are offering you the chance to win a Citizen Watch up…

England Squad Announced to Play in Old Mutual Wealth Cup Against the Barbarians

Eddie Jones has named his England squad to play in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup against the Barbarians on Sunday…