June 20 2013 Latest news:
Sophie Russell, Harlequins correspondent
Friday, September 2, 2011
Quins skipper pleased with club’s pre-season
Ahead of the much awaited double header at the home of English rugby this weekend, Twickenham is preparing to host the eighth Premiership double header held in the capital.
Opening the proceedings Harlequins will be looking to hit the ground running against London Irish after an intense preseason programme. The Exiles have a good record against Harlequins, winning 10 of their last 14 Premiership matches, although they have not beaten them at Twickenham since 2006.
Quins captain and back row forward Chris Robshaw is counting down the days until he is able to lead his team out onto the hallowed turf and a desire get his team starting as they mean to go on with the season ahead of them.
“Pre-season has gone well, it’s always pretty tough, everyone is trying to put on a bit of bulk and work on core fitness,” he said.
“But until you get into that first game and actually bang each other’s bodies together and get that physical contact from a match you can’t actually tell, so it will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday.
“We’ve been improving what we built on last year and have been doing a lot of wrestling to build up our upper body grappling strength. In terms of rugby, it’s been more skills based; at Harlequins we pride ourselves on our running and attacking rugby.”
This weekend’s clash at Twickenham certainly acts as an appetiser less than a week before the start of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and many clubs may remain somewhat depleted with the loss of those players on international duty for the next couple of months.
“Those that we have lost have been really influential players for us, you’ve got to make the most of it. Some clubs, such as Leicester Tigers, are worse off and in the end I’m sure it will all balance itself out,” he said.
In light of this, the Quins captain expresses his team’s enthusiasm for the fast approaching weekend. “Playing at Twickenham this weekend and going out in front of 70,000 people in a local Derby will be amazing,” he added.
“There is always a carnival atmosphere for the spectators and that’s the great thing about rugby; all the fans can come and sit together and give each other a bit of banter.
“It will also give us a chance to keep an eye on the second game to see who is playing well and who looks good.”
Harlequins kick off against London Irish at 2pm on Saturday and will be followed by Saracens and Wasps at 4:30pm.