On Monday afternoon (26th December), we return to action in National Division One when we face London Welsh at the Twickenham Stoop, kick-off 3.00pm.
Having had a few days off after our last game against Plymouth (10th December), everyone in the squad is looking forward to that rarest of rare events - a home game! Monday sees us play the first of five home games in the next six weeks, which will hopefully see us consolidate our position at the top of the league table.
There will be just a couple of changes to the team that takes the field on Monday. Tosh Masson will start in the centre having originally been selected to play against Plymouth only to miss out through illness, while Ian Vass gets the opportunity to start at scrum half, with Steve So'oialo amongst the replacements. Also on the bench will be Mel Deane, who returns to the squad for the first time since our game against Cornish Pirates on 20th November.
Our long-term injured players are Henry Barratt and Mike Worsley, both of whom we expect to be back in action before the end of the season. Also unavailable for selection this week were Ugo Monye (back) and Will Greenwood (hamstring), but both are expecting to be back in action in early January.
Good news. We are delighted to announce that during the last week Jim Evans, Chris Robshaw and Tosh Masson have all signed new contracts to keep them at NEC Harlequins for at least the next two seasons. These are all key members of the squad and we are delighted that they have shown such a commitment to the club.
Our opponents on Monday, London Welsh have put in some very good performances over the last few weeks with victories against both Coventry and Earth Titans, while going down by just three points at home to the Cornish Pirates. This return to form has coincided with the return of a number of injured players to their pack, notably Jim Brownrigg who used to play for Bristol.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters, fans, and sponsors alike, a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
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.