...important to us as we look to return to the Guinness Premiership next season.
A couple of weeks ago we played the Cornish Pirates in our first match against one of the top four teams in National Division One, but that was at home in front of nearly 11,000 Quins supporters. This weekend we are away at Goldington Road playing in front of a sell out crowd, the majority of whom will be supporting the home team, even if they will be drowned out by the tremendous vocal support that has followed us to all our away games this season; and there has been a fair few!
Bedford are a very strong team, who have a number of players with Premiership experience. It is no surprise to our coaching staff that they are currently our closest rivals for top spot in National Division One, taking into account their game in hand. We are expecting Saturday to the closest and most physical encounter of the season so far. Coached by former Welsh international Mike Rayer, Bedford are extremely well organised and will be very well prepared when they take the pitch on Saturday afternoon.
We will not be announcing our team until tomorrow, when we will complete our final preparations before travelling to Bedford on Saturday morning.
Two players who have been ruled out of contention for this weekend are Mel Deane and Mike Worsley. Mel is being rested after the knock he took to the head against the Pirates a fortnight ago, while Mike Worsley will be out of action for sometime having had an operation on his ankle yesterday following the injury he sustained at Bridgwater & Albion last weekend.
Initially, the diagnosis on Mike was that we would miss two or three weeks having gone over on his ankle. However, MRI scans showed the ligament damage to be much more significant and he was operated on yesterday. It is too early to say when Mike will be back in action, but everyone at NEC Harlequins wishes him a speedy recovery.
This coming Monday (5th December), our A team take on Northern Suburbs from Sydney, Australia at the Stoop, kick-off 7.30pm. North's are over in the UK on tour and also play Rosslyn Park on Wednesday evening, before setting off to Ireland to continue their European tour. With regards to the Wasps A League fixture that was cancelled last Monday, we hope to confirm the re-arranged date within the next week.
Those of you lucky enough to have been able to get tickets for this weekend's game, we look forward to seeing you on Saturday; and as ever, thanks to you all for your tremendous support this season - it is greatly appreciated by all the players and coaching staff.
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.