This Saturday afternoon sees NEC Harlequins return to action in the Zurich Premiership against local rivals Saracens in what is an extremely important fixture for both teams.
Saracens are currently 11th in the Premiership table, but having beaten Quins at Vicarage Road back in October will be looking to do the double over the Twickenham team. Apparently injuries are a problem for the Watford outfit with Alex Codling, Thomas Castaignede and Cobus Visagie all doubtful, although it should be remembered that according to reports before the last game Codling was unavailable due to injury and then made a 'Lazarus' like recovery to trot out onto the field to start the game.
NEC Harlequins currently lie joint fourth in the table on 36 points following their away win in Newcastle in their last Premiership game on 4th January. Having qualified for the semi-finals of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup, which will be played in April, Quins have five Premiership games to concentrate on and look to challenge for automatic qualification for next seasons Heineken Cup.
With only Ugo Monye unavailable due to injury (he would have been away with the England Sevens squad anyway) head coach Mark Evans has plenty of options to select from. There is competition in the front row, second row, back row, half back and centre positions, while with Monye not playing, Simon Keogh may start on the wing with Scott Bemand at scrum half.
On the injury front, Simon Miall expects to start in our next 2nd XV game against London Wasps on 16th February at the Stoop, while Josh Taumalolo return was delayed on Monday having suffered a reaction to his persistent back injury.
Saturday is an important day for Quins as we look to continue the momentum that has been since traveling to Sale prior to Christmas.
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.