Fixtures - Top Bar

Rising star Clifford out to make a name for himself

The World Cup has ensured Harlequins’ rising star Jack Clifford a run in the team as the England players stagger their return to the side but the back row forward insists he is ready to make a name for himself in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

Clifford captained England to the Junior World Championship title in 2013 alongside the likes of Anthony Watson, Henry Slade and Jack Nowell and he is looking to make a similar impact in Aviva Premiership Rugby during the 2015/16 campaign.
 
Last season head coach Conor O’Shea stated he thought Clifford would go on to become “a very special player” and where better to learn your trade on a daily basis than alongside England captain Chris Robshaw and stalwart Nick Easter, who this year appeared in his third World Cup.
 
The 22-year-old’s versatility – he featured all across the back row last season – means he has featured in the same XV as Robshaw and Easter.
 
But in the build-up to Sunday’s match at Leicester Tigers, Clifford was asked if he was ready to challenge the likes of Robshaw for a regular spot in the starting line-up.
 
He replied: “I hope I can but that is down to the coaches. It is up to them to decide if I am ready. It is their decision.
 
“I am going to give my best in training and in games so it is up to the coaches to then decide.
 
“I’m not sure when he (Robshaw) is back but I assume it will be pretty soon and for me, when I get my opportunities I have to play as well as I can.
 
“I don’t want to hang my hat on having other people not being around; I want to make a name for myself in my own right.”
 
“I just want to play well at Quins. I have set my mind on trying to nail down a position and play well week in, week out.”
 
Robshaw was captain of England’s disappointing World Cup campaign and Clifford expects the flanker and his Red Rose colleagues to return with added fire in their bellies.
 
But he stressed that playing for Harlequins is more than enough motivation in its own right, regardless of the events in the last month.
 
“Obviously [there is likely to be a reaction to the World Cup from the players] but I wouldn’t expect anything less because their job is to play rugby and they want to do that,” added Clifford.
 
“They would never fail to put in 100 per cent for Quins. That would be the same regardless of whether they were playing for England or Quins.
 
“You always know those players will always give 100 per cent.”
 
O’Shea’s men finished in the play-offs during the 2013/14 campaign but last season underachieved as they came eighth in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
 
Clifford stated the disappointment last term has not changed the club’s ambition, though as he expects the London-based side to challenge for the title this time around.
 
He said: “You never enter the competition and not push on to try to win the whole thing but we have to use the cliché of taking it game-by-game.
 
“You always go in with a winning mentality and that is how we will set out but all we can do is perform every week.”
 
To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem
 

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…