Saracens - Preview: Harlequins (A)

Oct 05, 2018

Preview: Harlequins (A)


Formed: 1866
Twitter: @Harlequins
Ground: The Stoop
Capacity: 14,900

Premiership - 2011/12   
Anglo-Welsh Cup - 1987/88, 1990/91, 2012/13
European Rugby Challenge Cup - 2000/01, 2003/04, 2010/11   
Powergen National Trophy - 2005/06
Aviva A League - 2003/04, 2012/13
National Division One - 2005/06
Middlesex Senior Cup - 1983
Glengarth Sevens Davenport Plate - 1986
Melrose Sevens - 1987

Last season:
Premiership: 10th
European Champions Cup: Pool Stage
Anglo-Welsh Cup: Pool Stage
Premiership Top Scorer: Charlie Walker (9)

Ins: Nick Auterac, Ben Tapuai (both Bath), Max Crumpton (Bristol Bears), Alex Dombrandt (Cardiff Met), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Semi Kunatani (Toulouse), Paul Lasike (Utah Warriors), Matt Symons (Wasps)

Outs: Sam Aspland-Robinson (Leicester Tigers), Joe Gray (Northampton Saints (now with Saracens)), Charlie Piper, Jake Hennessey (both released), Cameron Holenstein (Jersey Reds), Adam Jones (retired, Harlequins’ Scrum Coach), Charlie Matthews (Wasps), John Okafor (Yorkshire Carnegie), Jamie Roberts (Bath), Harry Sloan (Ealing Trailfinders), Winston Stanley (retired), Sam Twomey (London Irish).


Despite losing three out of their five Premiership matches so far this season, Quins find themselves in the top four after picking up five bonus points - the joint-most alongside Saracens. They began the 2018/19 campaign in fine form, dispatching Sale Sharks for 50 before suffering disappointing losses to Northampton Saints, Bath and Bristol Bears. The Twickenham outfit bounced back by edging out Gloucester at Kingsholm with former Sarrie Nathan Earle grabbing two tries. Form doesn’t mean much heading into a London derby with Quins having defeated Saracens on the last three occasions the Men in Black have visited The Stoop.


Gustard is man known by all at Allianz Park having played for the Men in Black between 2006 and 2008 before being offered an assistant coach position at the club, later becoming forwards and defence coach under Brendan Venter. He was appointed England Rugby team's defence coach in December 2015, linking up with Jones once more. England head coach Jones noted: ”Paul has overseen Saracens' growth as a team, he has produced an aggressive defence system there and we are hoping he can do the same for England." Before the national team’s tour to South Africa this summer, Gustard made the decision to move on and after a 2-1 loss to the Springboks, he took over as Harlequins head coach.


Another familiar face, Earle departed Saracens in the summer in search of more game time. So far the winger has be granted that wish, featuring from the start in all five of Quins’ games this season, scoring three tries. The Hong-Kong-born, England international joined Sarries aged 14, making his debut in 2012 in the Anglo-Welsh cup. Earle featured little during the Wolfpack’s successful 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns but made an impact a season on which led to international recognition. Last term, the 24-year-old played 14 games and crossed for seven tries including the final one in the Premiership final to round off an impressive win over Exeter Chiefs.


Saturday 22nd March 2014

Saracens 39 (27)
Tries: Ashton, Kruis, Farrell, Burger, Bosch Cons: Farrell (3), Hodgson (2) Pens: Farrell (2)

Harlequins 17 (10)
Tries: Dickson, Smith Cons: Evans (2) Pen: Evans

Saracens beat Harlequins to go top of the Premiership in front of a record crowd for club rugby union at Wembley.

Two intercept tries from Chris Ashton and Owen Farrell, alongside a finish from George Kruis, gave Saracens the lead in a first half where Karl Dickson went over for Quins.

Sam Smith took advantage of Steve Borthwick's yellow card to touch down and give Harlequins hope.

But Jacques Burger and Marcelo Bosch's late scores gave Sarries a bonus point.

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Bosch, Barritt, Strettle; Farrell, Wigglesworth; Vunipola, Brits, Johnston; Borthwick, Kruis; Wray, Burger, Joubert. Replacements: George, Barrington, Stevens, Botha, Brown, de Kock, Hodgson, Taylor.

Harlequins: Lindsay-Hague, Smith, Hopper, Casson, Monye; Evans, Dickson; Marler, Gray, Sinckler; Kennedy, Robson; Fa'asavalu, Wallace, Easter. Replacements: Ward, Lambert, Doran-Jones, Trayfoot, Guest, Stuart, Turner-Hall, Smith.


Harlequins were one of the founding members of the RFU.

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