Harlequins face three must-win games but won’t be changing moving away from their traditional style against Saracens at Wembley this weekend, according to lock Sam Twomey.
Conor O’Shea’s side face a European semi-final against Grenoble in a few weeks, but attention has turned straight back onto the league this weekend following their quarter-final success against Irish.
Like their London-rivals, Saracens are also coming off the back of a strong European quarter-final performance and face an all Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final against Wasps.
It looks set to be a real tussle in front of a bumper London crowd, and Twomey knows a good result is vital for his side’s end-of-season ambitions.
“I think every game is a must win, we are aiming for top four slot and we have to put in a performance,” said the Harlequins academy product.
“Saracens are in great form, you could see that against Northampton, we have really got to knuckle down and get our standards right.
“Our form has not been where we wanted it to be, we have been disappointed of late.
“They are a great opposition; we know we need to do something against them. We know we have got to pull our fingers out and put a full 80 minutes together.”
Saturday will be Saracens 13th visit to Wembley, and they’ve only lost at the ground three times – to Leinster, Toulouse, and to Harlequins in 2012.
That 24-19 victory was Harlequins sole win at the venue having met Saracens there four times.
They go into the game having won just three of their last ten Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures, all at the Twickenham Stoop, and have not won away since beating Worcester Warriors at Sixways on January 3.
A win would see them complete their first Aviva Premiership double over Saracens since 2008/09 following their 29-23 success at the Twickenham Stoop in round nine, also in January.
“It’s a big occasion – it’s like our Big Game at Twickenham,” added Twomey.
“It’s a great occasion to be involved in and with it being at Wembley it does add a little bit. If you can’t get up for it you’re crazy.
“They have got a style of rugby, we have our style and we pride ourselves on that, we like to throw the ball around, I don’t think we will see that change any time soon.
“I think if everything clicks I don’t think there’s any team that can stop us with what we bring to the pitch.”
With 77,000 tickets already sold for the showcase event, the world record of 84,068 for a club game set in last year’s fixture is under serious threat.
And Saracens winger Chris Ashton knows that maintaining their momentum will be vital for the Aviva Premiership champions at this stage of the season, having now won three games on the bounce in all competitions.
He said: “Everything is going well at the moment but as soon as you lose a game everything can change pretty quickly.
“So it’s really important we win these games against Harlequins, Newcastle and Worcester and keep our momentum going.
“The Quins game at Wembley is always a good event and obviously we really enjoy it every year. It’s fantastic to play in front of a big crowd and we’ve broken records the last few years.
“It’s a great day and one we’ll hope to remember.
“It’s always the way that a lot of teams have something to play for at this time of the year; whether it’s at the top, bottom, or middle of the table.
“Quins too still trying to get into the top four so there are no easy games, and it’s all to play for.”
Wembley Stadium, 3.15pm – Live on BT Sport
Referee: Greg Garner (98th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson & Andy Watson. TMO: Geoff Warren.
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