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Preview: Harlequins v Grenoble

Tim Visser knows Harlequins are all but out of the race for Aviva Premiership Rugby silverware but is desperate to send off Conor O’Shea with a title as they prepare for a European semi-final.

On Friday Harlequins will host Grenoble in a European Challenge Cup semi-final as they look to win Europe’s second tier competition for a record fourth time.

They made it to the last four with a victory over London Irish, while Grenoble won a thriller against Connacht.

And with O’Shea heading off to take over as Italy coach at the end of the campaign, Visser is keen to see the Irishman leave with another trophy after a stellar spell at the club.

He said: “I thought at the start of the season we could win silverware, and unfortunately we’re not able to do that in the Premiership any more.

“We’ve got to look at the Challenge Cup to do that now, as we are desperate to win something and this is our opportunity to do that.

“So we’re not looking any further ahead than the Grenoble game. They are a very solid side that can play some very attractive rugby at times like ourselves.

“We’re really excited about the game, and there is also the desire there to send Conor off in the right way too of course.

“He has done so much for this club. When he came they hadn’t won anything and what he has achieved has been mightily impressive.

“For me it is a great shame to see him go, and we want to see him go out on a high especially as we are out of the play-off race.”

Harlequins’ domestic hopes were left hanging by a thread after defeat to Saracens last weekend at Wembley.

On that occasion two Chris Ashton tries proved to be the difference, and Visser admits it was a frustrating one to take, but is confident the team have moved on and are in the right frame of mind to challenge for some silverware.

He added: “It’s hard coming off that result against Saracens but we’ve put all that to bed to get ourselves in the right frame of mind for this weekend.

“The last couple of days of training have been really good and really positive. We’re so focused on this weekend and we’ve switched our thoughts to it as quickly as we could.

“We deserve to win something I think given the rugby we have played this season and some of the results we’ve managed to get. We wouldn’t be doing ourselves justice if we didn’t progress.”

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