Tom Varndell insists everyone at Bristol Rugby is desperate to prove themselves worthy of Aviva Premiership Rugby against Harlequins at the London Double Header.
The new Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign kicks off for Bristol with the London Double Header returning to Twickenham this Saturday, and former Wasps’ wing Varndell believes a clash against Harlequins is the perfect motivation for Andy Robinson’s newly-promoted side.
Champions Saracens play Worcester Warriors before Bristol take on Quins, and after 114 points were shared among the four clubs last year, flier Varndell cannot wait to join the party at Twickenham.
“The chance for us to prove that we deserve to be an Aviva Premiership side, it doesn’t get any bigger than playing at Twickenham,” said Varndell.
“It is something I have been looking forward to for over a year now, to be given the opportunity to play in front of what will be a massive crowd will be fantastic.
“Everyone is absolutely buzzing. Quins at Twickenham – if you can’t raise your game for that then you can’t raise your game for anything. I don’t think we would have it any other way.
“Quins are a fantastic side, they have quality internationals throughout their team. I am so excited.
“Although I have played at Twickenham on a few occasions, I am just excited as ever to be running out at the home of English rugby to represent the team well and do my best.”
Robinson’s side sealed a return to the top-flight after seven years of trying, and though Varndell is aware that they face an uphill battle to succeed, he is adamant that they have the squad to do so.
“Andy just wants us to go out there and give a good account of ourselves, we know that the challenge is huge – it doesn’t always go that well for clubs coming up, but we have a great squad full of experience,” Varndell explained.
“Pre-seasons are always going to be tough, this one has been particularly tough because we all know it is a huge challenge ahead to ensure Aviva Premiership survival and looking up the table.
“It has been so good and everyone has bought into it and is so excited about moving into the Aviva Premiership for a good season.
“We know we have worked hard and our fitness levels are where they should be, but it is about executing under pressure and we can’t prove that until we get out there.”
Start the Aviva Premiership Rugby Season in style with two games from £25 at Twickenham. Harlequins v Bristol Rugby and Saracens v Worcester Warriors in the London Double Header, 3 September. Tickets available from ticketmaster.co.uk