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Matthews to exit Harlequins

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Ins and outs expected as Harlequins set to overhaul engine room

It could be a new-look engine room for Harlequins next season, with sources confirming to RugbyPass that lock Charlie Matthews looks likely to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old is a product of the Quins academy and has accrued over 150 appearances for the club in the nine years he has spent there, but he has slipped down the pecking order this season.

Australian James Horwill is cemented into the second-row when fit and both fellow academy graduate George Merrick and former Bristol player Ben Glynn seem to have risen above Matthews in the pecking order of late.

The currently injured Sam Twomey is another factor to consider in that hierarchy when he returns to fitness after an operation on his foot, as are Stan South and senior academy lock John Okafor.

Quins are not believed to be content with their current options at the position, though, and have targeted Wasps lock Matt Symons to bolster their second-row stocks and provide competition for a starting spot.

The former Saracens academy member reinvigorated his career in New Zealand, playing a key role in the Chiefs’ playoff pushes in 2014 and 2015, before moving back to England in a bid to push for international recognition.

He initially joined London Irish in 2015, but left the club just a year later when they were relegated from the Premiership. He then made the move to Coventry to join Wasps, but a combination of England’s incumbent locks excelling and a horrid run of injuries has, thus far, seen him fail to make his way into the England squad.

A move to Harlequins could help reignite those hopes ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with the club not only keen to find a complementary partner to Horwill in the engine room, but also well-known for its ability to cultivate players for the national side.

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Ins and outs expected as Harlequins set to overhaul engine room