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The Harlequins Thread

BPM

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If Exeter and Northampton can have a thread, so can Quins ...

Last season Quins just about delivered on our target of Champions Cup rugby, but we're some distance from being play-off contenders and if anything, I'd say clubs we're competing with such as Gloucester, Sale and Newcastle have shown more ambition with their recent signings.

Our first team is good, but as soon as the test windows start and 6 or more starters disappear, our second team is pretty average.

I think our best 23 is:

1. Marler
2. Buchanan
3. Sinckler
4. Merrick
5. Horwill
6. Robshaw
7. Wallace
8. Clifford
9. Care
10. Catrakilis
11. Visser
12. Roberts
13. Marchant
14. Yarde
15. Brown

16. Ward
17. Lambert
18. Collier
19. Twomey
20. J. Chisholm
21. Mulchrone
22. Saili
23. Swiel

We have a great home record and on our day, we've shown we can beat any team in the league. The trouble is, we're terrible on the road and 'our day' doesn't come around that often.

Our signings have mainly been squad filler (Swainston etc.)

Catrakilis is an interesting one ... He's a bit of an unknown quanitity, but is a high percentage kicker and, from what I understand, is the type of 10 who plays a more territorial game. That doesn't immediately scream 'Harlequins', but I'm curious to see how it works out. The accuracy of his kicking will help us nick points we might not have done last season at least.

Saili can be electric and could be great for us. Marchant is improving all of the time and I think there's a reasonable chance he'll find himself in the England picture, whereas Saili will be available all season (injury permitting).

We might also indirectly benefit from more players emerging on to the England radar as our players on the fringes of the EPS such as Clifford and Yarde look like they are more likely to spend more time with us than they will with England.

Predictions:

League finish: 6th (again)

Ones-to-watch: Francis Saili, James Chisholm, Marcus Smith, Lewis Boyce
 

TBeastT

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If Exeter and Northampton can have a thread, so can Quins ...

Last season Quins just about delivered on our target of Champions Cup rugby, but we're some distance from being play-off contenders and if anything, I'd say clubs we're competing with such as Gloucester, Sale and Newcastle have shown more ambition with their recent signings.

Our first team is good, but as soon as the test windows start and 6 or more starters disappear, our second team is pretty average.

I think our best 23 is:

1. Marler
2. Buchanan
3. Sinckler
4. Merrick
5. Horwill
6. Robshaw
7. Wallace
8. Clifford
9. Care
10. Catrakilis
11. Visser
12. Roberts
13. Marchant
14. Yarde
15. Brown

16. Ward
17. Lambert
18. Collier
19. Twomey
20. J. Chisholm
21. Mulchrone
22. Saili
23. Swiel

We have a great home record and on our day, we've shown we can beat any team in the league. The trouble is, we're terrible on the road and 'our day' doesn't come around that often.

Our signings have mainly been squad filler (Swainston etc.)

Catrakilis is an interesting one ... He's a bit of an unknown quanitity, but is a high percentage kicker and, from what I understand, is the type of 10 who plays a more territorial game. That doesn't immediately scream 'Harlequins', but I'm curious to see how it works out. The accuracy of his kicking will help us nick points we might not have done last season at least.

Saili can be electric and could be great for us. Marchant is improving all of the time and I think there's a reasonable chance he'll find himself in the England picture, whereas Saili will be available all season (injury permitting).

We might also indirectly benefit from more players emerging on to the England radar as our players on the fringes of the EPS such as Clifford and Yarde look like they are more likely to spend more time with us than they will with England.

Predictions:

League finish: 6th (again)

Ones-to-watch: Francis Saili, James Chisholm, Marcus Smith, Lewis Boyce
That back row looks quite light weight. I'd look to start Chisholm over one of them, although which one is a tough question.
 

BPM

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Possibly. It's very hard to pick our best back row. When he's available, Robshaw is a must-pick, so it's how the others fit in around him

Arguably, Robshaw, Clifford and Chisholm are the best 3 players, but I think Wallace is the best at 7.

I doubt Clifford will be involved with England this season so that makes things less complicated when Robshaw is away.
 

TBeastT

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Possibly. It's very hard to pick our best back row. When he's available, Robshaw is a must-pick, so it's how the others fit in around him

Arguably, Robshaw, Clifford and Chisholm are the best 3 players, but I think Wallace is the best at 7.

I doubt Clifford will be involved with England this season so that makes things less complicated when Robshaw is away.
I'd seriously consider dropping Clifford to the bench. To me, Robshaw/Wallace/Chisholm looks like the best balanced back row and Clifford's pace and ability to cover the whole back row could make him a real weapon off the bench. Would be a shame for him though.
 

curtbob7

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Excited to see some Marcus Smith.

Reckon 6th is very optimistic for you guys this season though with others strengthening.

Would love to know where all your cap goes if you spend all of it?
 

BPM

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/41107202

Care tipping Marcus Smith for big things. Is he worth the hype?
I'm always hesitant on hype but Marcus Smith looks like the real deal. Let's see, I hope the hype doesn't lead to too much being expected of him too soon.

Excited to see some Marcus Smith.

Reckon 6th is very optimistic for you guys this season though with others strengthening.

Would love to know where all your cap goes if you spend all of it?
So would I!!! I think it's largely spent on our internationals. Robshaw, Care, Brown, Marler, Yarde, Visser, Roberts etc. are all on big money.

I think there's a fair chunk of our players who will be out of contract at the end of the season so it will be very interesting to see what that means. I suspect we may go for a bigger overhaul.

6th is optimistic but not crazily so. If we can match last season's home form and pick up some more points on the road, we'll be there or thereabouts.
 

ratsapprentice

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Smith is very well regarded at age grade level.

Boyce is awesome, similar vein to Genge.
 

BPM

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I opened this thread a month ago without realising I'd called it 'Harelquins - 2017/18' ... top work. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip and I really wanted it to be about a fictitious, infinitely superior team.
 

ragerancher

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Bit of morale boosting... Plus I actually like this :D

Also recommend trying it at 1.25 speed.
 

Sixways Cheryl

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I'm not sure how morale boosting Quins fans will find this, but I really liked the shirt they wore against Irish! Maybe this is the start of them becoming the Premiership's answer to Stade Francais & their offbeat shirt designs?! :D
 

GarethGriffiths

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Good luck to them, they have been under-achievers for too long (a bit like Glaws).

A good team with some really decent fans - I can remember one family (the Rutter's) at Kingsholm, and nicer people you'd struggle to meet.
 

Chief Pete

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Marland Yarde linked with Saints, Bath and top 14, apparently he's got an attitude and isn't the most popular, so maybe someone on here could shed some light..
 

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Marler given a retrospective yellow for the tussle with Haskell, bit too close to being a soccer incident for my taste....
 

ratsapprentice

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Marler given a retrospective yellow for the tussle with Haskell, bit too close to being a soccer incident for my taste....
Eh?

Haskell's behaviour was "football-esque", Marler's was typical rugby behaviour.
 

Chief Pete

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He's a bit of a pantomime villain but I like Marler, he played Haskell like a fiddle on Sunday. :D
Yep, I reckon Marler was thinking I've just had you right over :D, on the performance Quins looked good and personally I'd keep Marcus Smith in, he's got great experienced players to help and protect him, Care at 9, Roberts at 12 and that pack will look after him, it'll be interesting to see him start when Quins lose their international's....
 

BPM

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With Clifford now out, we're really down to the bare bones.

We really need injury cover to be brought in, but as James Chisholm is due back in a week or two and Saili is also due back in October, I suspect we'll risk it and try to scrape by. Bothma is apparently due back in November and amazingly, Wallace is apparently on track to be available in December, so hopefully there is some light at the end of the injury tunnel.

Part of me is concerned that we're going to get destroyed by La Rochelle next weekend, but that's also slightly tempered by the fact that we have Worcester at home in the league the following week.

We have a tough group in the Champions Cup, so I'm almost tempted to say f it, accept the loss with a weakened team and focus on smashing Worcester.

With Wasps equally damaged by injuries, I'd fancy Ulster to beat them at the Kingspan, so losing to La Rochelle wouldn't necessarily be terminal.
 

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Part of me is concerned that we're going to get destroyed by La Rochelle next weekend, but that's also slightly tempered by the fact that we have Worcester at home in the league the following week.
Point of order - that's not your fixture list.
Champions Cup matches come in pairs; you've got La Rochelle at home; followed by Wasps away before you get to Worcester
 
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