Amid all the speculation as to whom the two remaining signings are, I regret that we are still not in a position to confirm the names of the final two members of our squad for the 2002/2003 season. There is still some paperwork to be completed before we are able to make these announcements, although I am sure that it will not be long before we are able to release this news.
With the exception of these two final signings the squad for the new season will be as follows:
Full Back: Ben Gollings, Nathan Williams
Wing: Rob Jewell, Dan Luger, Matt Moore
Centre: Chris Bell, Nick Greenstock, Will Greenwood
Fly Half: Paul Burke, Seb Fitzgerald, David Slemen
Scrum Half: Scott Bemand, Nick Duncombe, Matthew Powell
Prop: Jon Dawson, Laurent Gomez, Jason Leonard, Bruce Starr
Hooker: Tani Fuga, James Hayter, Ace Tiatia, Keith Wood
Second Row: Alex Codling, Bill Davison, Jim Evans, Simon Miall, Karl Rudzki
Back Row: Tony Diprose, Pat Sanderson, Luke Sherriff, Andre Voss, Roy Winters
Associate Professionals: Darryl Griffin (Back Row), Jon Hammond (Full Back), Kai Horstmann (Back Row), Alex Mockford (Back Row), Ugo Monye (Wing), Andrew Reay (Centre), Sam Walton (Prop), Max Wilcox (Wing / Full Back), Tom Williams (Full Back)
Next Monday, the entire squad will gather at a local hotel to spend the day working on our aims, goals, team values and standards for the forthcoming season. At the same time we will finalise our organisational structures for the month of August and beyond, as we continue our preparations for the first game of the season on 31st August at home to Gloucester.
Training this week has again concentrated on technical skills such as playing the ball from contact, passing, and re-cycling quick ball. At the same time, workshops are taking place to discuss our scrums and lineouts, and the plays that we wish to develop from these set piece situations. As ever, at this time of year the enthusiasm from all the players is tremendous. The fitness scores reflect improvements in all areas from last year, and with the recent fine weather it is almost a struggle to get the players off the practice field!
This week has been Paul Turners first with the squad, and he has settled in very well to the task and is looking forward to the challenge of facing his old club in the first game of the season.
Off the field, Season Tickets have continued to sell well, exceeding last season's total already. If you want to guarantee your seat for all of the big games this season then you had better contact our office at the Stoop on 0208 410 6000 as soon as possible.
There is no doubt that the Premiership will be a tougher challenge than ever before this season as all the 12 teams get stronger and stronger. It is important that we get our preparations right, but it is also important that it is fun and that we maintain some of the all fashioned team spirit that will help us through the difficult challenges ahead.
I hope you all have a good weekend, and I look forward to speaking to you all next week.
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.