Harlequins fly-half Tim Swiel believes that his side possess the quality and leadership to thrive on their return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action this weekend, despite missing a host of key players on international duty.
Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown and Quins skipper Joe Marler all played an influential role in England’s momentous 21-16 victory over Wales on Friday, with Nick Easter also involved as a replacement.
But while the English contingent will be spending this week plotting the downfall of Italy at Twickenham, Harlequins are hoping to continue their impressive Aviva Premiership Rugby form when they travel to play Wasps on Sunday.
And Swiel, whose late try against Leicester Tigers secured a bonus-point win in the last round of fixtures, insists his team will not be fazed by the number of big names unavailable at the Ricoh Arena.
“The guys have clear minds now and we are still on a good run from the last few Aviva Premiership Rugby games, so if we can maintain that in the next few weeks we will stand ourselves in good stead in the table,” said Swiel, whose side will be looking for a third successive league win.
“The team is looking forward to being back in league action, and obviously the England boys aren’t with us but we have done well without them in the past so we are looking to replicate that.
“There are some great Quins players who play for England, but with them gone there are some good leaders still here, and they can help carry us through.
“There are five points between a clutch of teams in the table, so you are only one win away from the top four really.
“We have to keep our heads down, work hard and push through without the England boys.”
The side from the Stoop will line up against Wasps for the fourth time this season, having won two of the three encounters to date.
But following a 23-3 European defeat to Wasps last month, the South African No.10 understands the importance of providing a fresh performance at the weekend.
“In the technical aspects of the game we do know each other pretty well since the beginning of the season,” Swiel added.
“We need a variation in our game, you can’t expect to just run from behind your goal line, so we have looked at that.
“Having said that, we like to play with the Quins style, which is an enterprising brand of rugby, and hopefully that can carry us through.”
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