Following today’s signings of loosehead prop Marc Thomas and scrum-half Jack Stafford, Harlequins have confirmed the 44-man senior squad set to compete for the remainder of the current season, backed up by the club’s 14-player Senior Academy.
The squad includes a number of high-quality players arriving at the club over the last few months and the impending arrival of South African trio Wilco Louw, Andre Esterhuizen and Tyrone Green, who are set to provide a mid-campaign boost.
With nine rounds of the regular Gallagher Premiership season and the Premiership Cup final now on the horizon, new Lineout Coach Jerry Flannery has also joined the squad at the Club’s Guildford training base, with the Irishman set to work alongside Scrum Coach Adam Jones. Meanwhile, Nick Evans and Sean Long will continue to work with the backs and further developing the Club’s attacking game.
Fourteen Harlequins Academy players return to full training ahead of rugby’s return under the steer of Academy Manager Chim Gale. Gary Street (Harlequins Academy Coach Development Manager and DPP Coordinator), Jim Evans (Academy Coach and former player) and Charlie Mulchrone (Academy Coach and former player) also continue their roles as rugby returns, with Club legend Jordan Turner-Hall set to take up his new Academy Coach role next month.
Commenting ahead of rugby’s return at The Stoop against Sale Sharks, Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “I think when we look at our squad we can see some real strength and quality in talent from one to fifteen. We’ve worked hard over the last couple of seasons in giving the Club some real attacking threat within our playing group. The purpose of rugby is to score one point more than the opposition and the Quins DNA is to play attacking rugby.
“We’re delighted to see some of the additions we’ve welcomed into the Club recently, and more so than that we’re delighted to see the return of four or five big players, including Mike Brown, 72 caps for England and a huge figure for the Club, Joe Marchant, Ben Tapuai, Nathan Earle and of course Chris Ashton, who signed just before the lockdown but is yet to play a game for the Club. It will be a full backline available for selection, which is very exciting.
“In terms of the forwards we targeted improving our set-piece, we’ve gone for some real scrummaging prowess with Wilco Louw and Craig Trenier.
“We feel really confident in the group of men we’ve got. We have a group of players who want to achieve and want to move forward.
“Our roles as coaching and support staff is to provide a training environment and opportunity for the players to maximise their potential and abilities, both individually and collectively.”
We’ve revamped how we do our training – partly due to COVID-19 and partly due to feedback, and I think the players have really responded well to the variation and stimulation that we’ve given them, and we can’t wait to start the season again.
“We feel we are building nicely, the energy in the group is good and we are in a good place to get going.”
Maks van Dyk
Santiago Garcia Botta
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