Last Thursday we announced two of our new signings for the new season; Laurent Gomez a tight head prop signed from the French club Montferrand and Nathan Williams a full back who has played for Queensland and Stade Francais.
Both these players will be excellent additions to our squad, as we strive to improve upon our league performance from last season.
There are still a couple of signings to be completed, and these will be announced in the next few weeks as we move towards the beginning of the new season.
This Monday the majority of the squad including both Laurent and Nathan will commence rugby training at Aldershot, along with a continuation of the fitness programme they have been following since early June. It does not seem two minutes since we finished last season and yet here we are well on the road to preparations for the new and hopefully successful 2002/2003 season.
To update you on the injuries from the end of last season, Dan Luger is still progressing well, and is on course to return to action in the New Year. Jason Leonard has recovered from the broken bone in his foot he suffered in the last game of the season against Sale and expects to return to full training in the next couple of weeks.
James Hayter, who seriously injured his foot in pre-season last year, is now well on the road to recovery and expects to be able to take a full part in all training over the next few weeks.
The training itself will consist of lots of skill based sessions, involving passing skills, playing the ball out of contact areas, and support running. Unit skills such as lineouts, re-starts and Scrums will not start until early August. The emphasis is very much on improving the players' skills in order that they can stand up to the pressures of match days.
On the business side of things season ticket sales continue to go well. It is exciting times at The Stoop and it is good that so many people want to be part of the fun that is the Harlequins match day experience.
In five weeks time we will be travelling to Glasgow for the first of our pre-season games, with the aim of being ready for the challenge of Gloucester at The Stoop on Saturday 31 August. It seems a long way away, but it will soon be upon us. During Pre-season training there is always a lot to cover, but with Mark Evans, John Kingston and Paul Turner running their beady eyes over the squad in training there is no doubt we will be ready for what will be a very challenging season.
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.