Following last weekend's win over London Wasps, this Saturday we travel to South Yorkshire to face the Rotherham Titans in their first Zurich Premiership match at their new Millmoor ground.
We know that we will face a fierce challenge. Rotherham have done incredibly well to get to the Premiership after the disappointment of missing out in the previous season, and under the stewardship of Jim Kilfoyle and Mike Schmid, they have got a strong squad together to challenge in this season's Zurich Premiership.
Notable players are scrum half Jacob Rauluni and number 8 Geraint Lewis. In addition there are a number of experienced Premiership players such as full back Jon Benson (ex Leeds), winger Anthony Elliot (ex Sale Sharks) and centre Peter Jorgensen (ex Northampton Saints).
The squad will be travelling up to Sheffield on Friday afternoon, before having our final practice session on Friday evening. Rotherham lost to Gloucester by just 14 points last weekend at Kingsholm, which in anyone's books is a good performance.
On Monday evening our second XV travelled up to Northampton where they beat a strong Saint's side by 29 points to 21 in what was at times a scrappy game. There were several outstanding performances, particularly by Ceri Jones, Jim Evans, Luke Sherriff, Scott Bemand, Andy Dunne and Adrian Jarvis. The next 2nd XV game is away to Bath on the 29th September, followed by a game against London Irish at the Stoop on 6th October.
In terms of selection for this Saturday, both Mel Deane and Gavin Duffy will be fit to come into the squad, and we will wait until Friday to see whether Roy Winters or Luke Sherriff will play. Of the other injured players, Rob Jewell played 80 minutes for the 2nd XV up at Northampton, and Josh Taumalolo should be in contention for a place in the squad next weekend when we face London Irish at the Stoop. The only two 'long term' injured players are Chris Bell (ankle ligaments) and Karl Rudzki (fractured ankle). Both of these players have seen their consultants this week, and both should be back in action in the near future.
Going back to last Saturday at the Stoop, the atmosphere in the Stadium was absolutely fantastic, and the noise in the second half as we took control of the game was deafening. You have certainly set your standards for the season! Warren Gatland was quoted as saying, "The Stoop is not an easy place to go and play in." Well with your help, let us see if we can keep it that way for the rest of the season.
The whole squad are looking forward to hearing a repeat performance from you at Millmoor -see you there!
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.