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Bristol Rugby star Tom Varndell eyes major Harlequins scalp

Bristol Rugby star Tom Varndell eyes major Harlequins scalp

With just two Aviva Premiership Rugby wins so far this season, Bristol Rugby know that every game is vital if they are to avoid the drop – and Tom Varndell says Friday night’s clash with Harlequins is a massive opportunity to get more points on the board.

Bristol started the season with ten straight league defeats, but two wins from their last three have put them just one point behind 11th-placed Worcester Warriors.

Harlequins visit Ashton Gate on Friday having lost all of their away league matches, while the likes of Danny Care and Joe Marler are involved in the RBS 6 Nations and Chris Robshaw is injured.

All of this has helped to build the excitement at Bristol, who lost 21-19 in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season at Twickenham.

But winger Varndell believes the Londoners still have plenty of dangerous weapons in their squad, and expects a tight contest.

“Our main focus has been Quins for the last couple of weeks. There are no excuses this week as everything has been geared towards Friday night,” he said.

“We know it is a massive game for us in terms of Aviva Premiership Rugby survival. They are missing some key players so this is an opportunity.

“We have to see this a massive opportunity and we need to pick up some points if we want to be here next year, and if we are going to do that then we need to take advantage when a team are down on their players.

“Quins are a very quick team and they really like to play attacking rugby. We have got to be alive to them because they play off-the-cuff rugby and we can’t allow them to do that because if we do they will kill us.

“They beat us at Twickenham in our first game back and we were right at the top of our game. To lose was a sucker-punch and I think that if we had won then we could have got on a run.

“Friday is a chance to prove we can win these games and play well in the Premiership.”

Varndell penned a new contract on Monday, keeping him at the club until the end of next season and the 31-year-old, who is just one try away from breaking the all-time Aviva Premiership Rugby record, says he had no hesitation is committing to the club for another year.

“Bristol is a fantastic city and the fans are unbelievable. We are building a very exciting journey and the infrastructure is great,” he added.

“I am 31 now and I have more seasons behind me than I have in front of me and I just want to be settled in my rugby, and I feel that I can do that in Bristol – especially with Pat Lam coming in next year [as head coach].

“It was a very easy decision. My form has helped because I am playing well and I don’t see any need to change.

“You have got to feel comfortable and happy, and you don’t want to move around too much so it was an easy decision.

“It could be a great week if I break the record. If I am scoring tries and help the team win matches than that would be a perfect way to end the season.”

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