Author: isport

Wayne Smith denies Harlequins offer

Wayne Smith has tuned down the chance to coach Harlequins and has signed an all new 2 year contract to stay with the All Blacks.

Wayne Smith

Harlequins wanted him in place for director of rugby Conor O’Shea, who is all set to take charge as Italy head coach. The team was in talks with the man who helped New Zealand win successive World Cups campaigns. Attention would now hit on ex All Blacks lock Todd Blackadder, who is leaving his role in responsibility of Super Rugby team the Crusaders at the end of the present campaign in New Zealand.

Smith stated that for him to think about something like Quins, it had to be pretty special and something his family thought was special as well. Whilst he and his family enjoyed coming over for the Autumn Internationals in Europe (which you can buy tickets for on this website), it’s a big difference between coming for a few weeks and actually starting a whole new life here.

He also said that he still had a lot of work over several weeks for the All Blacks, and saw it is a long process and this would change all the time as priorities became clearer.

Meanwhile, Harlequins’ Karl Dickson stated that it was quite tough seeing his team’s slide in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table from the sidelines in recent weeks, but following an all-star demonstration on his comeback against Bath Rugby, the scrum-half is enjoying the scope to get back amongst it.

Conor O’Shea’s team secured their 2nd victory in 7 games earlier on Friday with a 35-28 win at the Stoop, but they were made to work for it in the 2nd half against Mike Ford’s team – who brilliantly fought back to have a losing bonus-point.

Six youngsters re-sign with Harlequins FC

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Harlequins FC has announced that six first team squad players, including Ben Botica have committed their long terms futures to the club after penning new contracts.

The likes of Rob Buchanan, Joe Gray, Tom Casson, Dave Ward and Charlie Matthews – all young prospects for the England team – have penned contract extensions till the end of the 2015/16 season while Botica’s new deal will see him stay at the club till the 2016/17 season.

The three hookers Ward, Gray and Buchanan have all made a name for themselves in recent weeks, performing beyond their years for their club and have caught the eye of the England selectors who are keen on drafting them into the side ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2015.

While Gray and Buchanan have toured with England, Ward is yet to make his bow for the senior squad although he has played for the England Saxons in the pre-2014 Six Nations fixtures.

Harlequins FC has been consolidating their side over the last few months, ever since the club won the Aviva Premiership title in 2012 and with the extension of contracts of these players, they are creating a strong foundation of youth as the core of the side to build another team capable of challenging for the title both at home and in Europe.

Commenting on these young players extending their contracts with the club, Conor O’Shea, the Director of Rugby of Harlequins FC stated that they are obviously delighted that the players have committed their futures to the club and they will hopefully develop into world beaters for the club.
They all want to win major trophies and if they manage to win those trophies, they will go a long way to managing to reach their personal aims as well.

Robshaw named England skipper

Harlequins FC back row player Chris Robshaw is looking forward to leading England to glory in the Six Nations Championships after being appointed as the captain once again by England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Robshaw has easily been the most consistent player under Stuart Lancaster since the former Leeds Carnegie head coach took charge of the national team following their disastrous campaign in the 2011 Rugby World Cup where they were eliminated in the quarter final stages by France and the Harlequins FC open side was the overwhelming favorite to be named as the skipper once again the England team tries to recapture the Six Nations Championship title for the first time in three years.

They had one of the best autumn internationals at Twickenham Stoop last year, beating Australia as well as Argentina before suffering a narrow defeat to world champions New Zealand and those performances did their confidence a world of good.

England open their quest to reclaim the Six Nations Championship with a tricky match away to France and Robshaw has expressed his gratitude for Lancaster keeping his faith in him once again and is relishing the challenge that lies ahead.

He stated that Lancaster rang him up at his home and as with every decision he takes, he asked him before announcing it and as always, it will be a privilege to lead England.

Robshaw went on to add that to be the leader of one’s national team is an honor in itself and he is fortunate enough to have a group of players and leaders to help make his task easier, just like things are done at Harlequins FC.

However, Robshaw will have to cope without the presence of Nick Easter who has been overlooked once again by Lancaster in spite of his good run of form.

O’Shea unhappy despite Harlequins FC win

Conor O’Shea, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Harlequins FC is not satisfied despite his team running out victorious in their Premiership encounter against Gloucester Rugby this weekend.

The London club put in a decent performance as they ran out 27-19 winners against the struggling Gloucester Rugby side but the team boss was not buying into that performance as the 2012 winners failed to pick up a bonus point for their efforts.

Gloucester Rugby lost three big name players, Tom Savage, Jimmy Cowan and Martyn Thomas to the sin bin but it was the absence of Cowan that proved to be most costly for them as the Quins went on to score a massive 14 points while he was off the pitch and this run effectively swung the game in their favor.

And speaking about the team’s performance in the post match press conference, O’Shea stated that the Harlequins FC players let go of the momentum during the game, when they were on top of the opposition and in total control. He admitted that he doesn’t understand why the team took its foot off the gas when they were in such a position.

Quins scored three great tries through Luke Wallace, Danny Care and Nick Easter and looked to have secured that important bonus point when Tom Williams crossed the line but it was ruled out after television replays.

And O’Shea admitted that no matter how much he looks at the replays, he will not quite understand how the decision went against them. The Harlequins FC also mentioned that they want the referees to take their time and come to the right decisions because a point lost at any point in the season could amount to a lot at the business end of the season.

Evans believes Robshaw will lead Harlequins

Nick Evans has backed Chris Robshaw to retain the captaincy of the England national team and also go on to lead Harlequins FC to more trophies and glory.

Robshaw was rested for the England team’s tour of Argentina over the summer where Tom Wood of the Northampton Saints was given charge of the team and Stuart Lancaster is now regarding Robshaw solely as a blind side flanker and this has led to speculation about him being able to hold on the skipper’s arm band.

However, the former #10 for the All Blacks is adamant his teammate is still the best man to lead the England team from the front and according to Evans, the player will prove his critics wrong over time and help The Quins to life the Aviva Premiership title once again, just like he did a couple of years ago.

According to Evans, he expects a stellar year from Chris and he hopes he proves a lot of his critics wrong. He went on to add that critics have a short term memory problem and they seem to forget it was the Harlequins FC man who led England to a record points victory over New Zealand and went on to collect two man of the match awards in the Six Nations.

Robshaw, just like Nick Evans, has also put pen to paper to a new contract at the club and the two of them are getting ready to lead the club in the race for the Premiership once again as they kick off their campaign this weekend when Harlequins FC host the Newcastle Falcons at Twickenham Stoop.

And Evans is confident Robshaw knows he has a lot to prove this season and will rise to the challenge that has been laid in front of him by his critics.

All about Harlequins FC

Harlequins FC is a professional Rugby Football Union club that currently plays in the Aviva Premiership, the top tier of domestic rugby in England.

The club plays its home matches at the fables Twickenham Stoop stadium in London, which is also the base of the England national rugby union team. When the game was still amateur, many players of the club used to work in the London financial districts and since then, the club has retained strong ties with the financial sector of the city.

The club was founded long back in 1866, when the Hampstead Football Club was formed, playing its first official match the following year. However, with a growing membership base that broke the barriers of the region, the need for the club to change its name was felt and was renamed to Harlequins FC. The club officials came up with the name with the help of a dictionary and used the term ‘harlequin’ because they wanted the club to retain the HFC monogram.

However, not all the members of the club took the name change too kindly and there was an exodus of members from the club who formed their own club after sometime, which is now known as the London Wasps and shares a fierce rivalry with the club. The club led a nomadic existence in its first forty years and during that time, played in as many as 15 venues before being invited to the Rugby Union and asked to play at Twickenham.

Since then, the club has retained its home base at the venue, going on to renovate it to give it its modern look. Although not the most successful club, Harlequins FC is without a doubt one of the most famous club in the English professional rugby scene with the club drawing its fans from all over the country.

Harlequins FC win LV= Cup

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Harlequins FC secured what could be the first of a possible treble of trophies this season as they lifted the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup defeating their fellow Aviva Premiership rivals the Sale Sharks by a 32-14 margin at Sixways.

This win over The Sharks marks the first time that the London side has won the domestic knockout Cup competition in any of its several guises since the 1991 season. Winger Tom Williams, centre Tom Casson, number eight Tom Guest and flank player Luke Wallace all crossed the line for The Quins.

Ben Botica, the fly half for The Quins added another 12 points for the reigning Aviva Premiership champions with three conversions and two penalties. The only touchdown for the Sale Sharks came when centre Johnny Leota crossed the line for them in second half. The win was almost deserved for Harlequins FC and having won the first title of the season, they will now look towards winning the Aviva Premiership title again, where they are already leading the table and looking good for making the playoffs and are also in contention for the Heineken Cup.

The Quins raced to a 8-0 lead quite early on and Botica kicked a 40 meter ball before piling on the pressure even more on the Sale Sharks.

The match was mostly a very uneven battle between two sides, one of which is fighting for a treble of trophies while the other is fighting to survive in the Aviva Premiership and the way Harlequins FC got the better of their opponents, it clearly goes on to show the gulf in class between the top and the bottom sides of the Aviva Premiership, something which the Rugby Football Union must address in order to maintain equilibrium in the league.

Easter blasts England selection policy

Nick Easter of the reigning Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins FC has slammed the English rugby authorities for their over reliance on foreign born players for the England national team and the no. 8 believes that this tendency is ultimately bringing about the downfall of the English game as a whole.

Easter, who has himself won 47 caps for his country, has not been selected by the new head coach Stuart Lancaster after the team’s disastrous Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign when they were knocked out in the quarter finals stages.

Lancaster has turned to the likes of young heads in the form of Thomas Waldrom of the Leicester Tigers, who was born in New Zealand. And Easter has been particularly irked by the way in which the Kiwi was fast tracked into the England setup as soon as it was discovered that he qualifies to play for the English national team by virtue of having and English grandmother. The no. 8 for Harlequins FC went on to state that he doesn’t have any problems with the likes of Manu Tuilagi, born in Samoa as well as Dylan Hartley, born in New Zealand because these two were brought up in England and passed through the various age group levels in the country itself.

However, Easter believes it is an absolute insult to English rugby as a whole to fast track someone into the English game without him knowing anything about how the game is played in the country.

And the 34 year old, who has been in fine form for Harlequins FC believes he still has it in him to be a better player in the squad than these young players will ever be, and still hasn’t given up hope of playing for England in the Rugby World Cup of 2015.

Harlequins shows how it’s done

Aviva Premiership Rugby Union club and the reigning champions of the league Harlequins FC have opened up a one point lead at the top, as they find themselves out on their own at the top of their pool in the prestigious Heineken Cup, raking in a massive 19 points from their first four games of the 18th edition of the competition. Fellow four from four clubs Toulon and ASM Clermont Auvergne are both on 18 points as the race for the quarter finals intensify.

It is expected that the race for a place in the quarter finals of the biggest club competition in European rugby will enter the final straight in the new calendar year when the tournament resumes after the Christmas break with the four best group winners earning what is an invaluable advantage of being able to play their quarter final fixtures at home.

Round 3 produced a lot of surprises but for the English champions Harlequins FC, the newcomers to the tournament Zebre could manage little resilience as they were thumped 53-3 at home at Twickenham Stoop, completing their double over the minnows of the tournament.

The Quins take on Connacht Rugby at home again in the next round, aware that only a single match point from the encounter would be enough to mathematically secure their progress into the next round before the group stage ends with the final encounter with French side Biarritz Olympique whom they lead by a massive 10 points at this moment.

Conor O’Shea, the Director of Rugby of the club stated that many people have been saying that Harlequins FC has been struggling but he pointed out that the team is still unbeaten in Europe and has won 13 out of their 16 matches, which goes to say a lot about the performance of the club.

Harlequins wants Repeat of Premiership Success

Aviva Premiership Rugby Union side and reigning champions Harlequins FC is determined to prove that their first ever title triumph was no fluke when they begin the defense of their title against the London Wasps in an opening day double header at the Twickenham Stoop.

This match will be a part of the London Double Header that has almost become the customary kickoff for every new season of the Aviva Premiership with which will see two more clubs from the capital, Saracens FC and the London Irish taking on each other in the second match.

The ground at Twickenham is a just a few hundred meters from the home stadium of Harlequins FC at Stoop and the club last played at the headquarters of English rugby when they defeated the Leicester Tigers, the perennial contenders for the Premiership title 30-23 in the playoff final last season to win their first title. The Quins, who are still led by Chris Robshaw has Nick Evans of New Zealand in their roster and Conor O’Shea, the coach of the side has challenged his players to emulate the achievements of last season and create history.

According to O’Shea, if they managed to achieve that, it will be a brilliant achievement in the history of the club. He explained that ever since the final whistle was blown at the end of that playoff final, the team had been saying that good things are capable of winning the title but the great teams manage to kick on from one success.

He also stated that being introduced at the champions of the Premiership will be a new experience for the players of Harlequins FC but he insisted that it won’t make much of a difference to the side considering the way they go about doing their things.