Harlequins might be able to boast the perfect start to the defence of their Aviva Premiership crown but Joe Marler believes they will need to take it up a few notches ahead of their trip to Leicester Tigers.
Conor O’Shea masterminded Quins’ maiden top-flight league success in their 146-year history last time out and they show no signs of relinquishing their hold on the trophy – opening up this campaign with a maximum 15 points, something no side has done before.
But they are in for their sternest test of this young Aviva Premiership season so far as they travel to Welford Road on Saturday, the Tigers having not lost at home in any competition since October 2011.
However the last team to leave Leicester victorious was in fact Harlequins and they also make their way north safe in the knowledge that they haven’t lost away from home in the Aviva Premiership since they visited Gloucester on February 25.
So it would seem that something has got to give, and prop Marler is adamant that if it is going to be Leicester then his Quins need to raise their game even more than they have already shown this season.
“There is no harder game in my experience than at Welford Road against the Tigers,” Marler said.
“So we know what sort of a test we are in for and we will need to perform better than the last three games.
“The stadium and the crowd are always great there and that should help us to raise our game to a higher level.
“They have got quality all over their side so in that sense it is up to us to really prove ourselves.”
While Harlequins are sitting pretty atop the Aviva Premiership table, Leicester Tigers are hot on their tails in third and are unbeaten in the regular season since they visited Exeter in February.
And after Quins beat Leicester in the final last season, Anthony Allen insists it is time they dished out a slice of revenge.
“Harlequins are the Premiership champions and fair play to them, they deserve it,” centre Allen said.
“We were unlucky in that final and it’s now up to us to ensure that we put it right this time.
“It’s a good chance for us to see how we stack up against a side that have made such a strong start to the season again.
“We want to win our home games and this one is no different but we are under no illusions as to what sort of a test it will be.”
Referee: David Pearson (168th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: TBC, Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher