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Where Harlequins went wrong

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'We all knew ourselves' - Saili explains one of the main contributing factors behind Harlequins' apalling season

Francis Saili only made five appearances for Harlequins last season but on his return from a shoulder operation, he’s aiming to be ready to hit the ground running into the new Gallagher Premiership season.

After finishing a disappointing tenth, Saili reflected at this year’s fixtures launch that his Quins team mates were struggling to deliver their own game plan due to their fitness, telling RugbyPass, “That’s what we all knew ourselves. As the season went on we weren’t fit enough to play the style of footy that we wanted to play. Not only that, the Quins brand was throwing the ball around here and there, running from everywhere. I think we were disappointed in our own selves as we weren’t fit enough to play that sort of style.”

Quins parted ways with John Kingston and Graham Rowntree over the summer, with Alex Codling joining as forwards coach alongside former Saracens and England assistant coach Paul Gustard as the new Head of Rugby.

Saili told RugbyPass, “There’s a big emphasis on fitness, getting the boys to run around. He’s [Gustard] doing a good job with that. He wants to play a style that is high tempo. He wants to make sure we’re ready for the season ahead.”

Harlequins will not play in the traditional showpiece season opener at Twickenham due to the stadium undergoing refurbishment work. Their opening match will be at The Stoop against Sale Sharks.

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'We all knew ourselves' - Saili explains one of the main contributing factors behind Harlequins' apalling season