As all eyes turned to the game at Twickenham on Saturday, Mark Lambert explains why it was important for the players not involved, to take some time out from their intense rugby programme.
"Our last fixture against Northampton Saints signalled the end of an almost continual period of rugby over the last three months for the squad. For those not involved with international sides, last week was a rest week and many of the players headed away for short breaks to rest both their bodies and minds. Whilst the physical impact of so many high intensity games is more obvious, it is perhaps most important to get away from rugby for a few days to rest the mind, which is tested not only on match day, but also in day-to-day training. Achieving a good balance away from rugby means that the brain can stay fresh and able to function at the highest level. This will be achieved in various ways by individual players, some jetting off for exotic trips in the sun, others getting away in the more local surroundings of Great Britain, or even just relaxing at home with the family; whatever works to get the boys refocused for the business end of the season, which faces us on our return."
Next home game: Gloucester 21st February, kick off 3pm
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.