After all the hard work that went into preparing for last Sunday's game against Bristol Shoguns, there was a feeling of complete anti-climax at around 10.20am in the Hilton Hotel, Bristol when the call came through telling us the game was off.
A quick chat with Mark (Evans) and Jason (Leonard), and by 11 am we were back on the coach being blown down the M4 towards London.
On Tuesday evening our 2nd XV beat Oxford University 17-13 in yet another close game. However, with nine of the starting XV under the age of 21, this is very encouraging for the future of the club. The youngsters are gaining good experience, perhaps reflected in the Under 21's result last weekend when they beat Bristol, who have been the Under 21 league champions for the last two seasons.
Yesterday morning, Mark and I arrived at terminal one of Heathrow Airport at approximately 6.30am, along with a camera crew from Sky Sports, to meet Andre Vos and his wife Caroline, who were arriving from South Africa on flight SA226 due in at 6.55am. At 10.30am, Mark and I (along with the Sky crew) were still at Heathrow Airport waiting for Andre to pass through immigration. It was very kind of the Heathrow immigration staff to put Andre through a full medical at their expense. However, I think we would all have appreciated it if he had walked through the arrivals door at 8am rather than 10.40am!
From the airport we drove in convey to David Wilson's apartment in Twickenham, where Andre will be living for the time being. By 12.30pm he was on the road again, this time to Aldershot to meet his new team-mates, and to take part in his first NEC Harlequins team meeting. 30 minutes later he was on the training park trying to understand the complicated lineout calls we use, so cleverly designed by Alex Codling and John Kingston. Andre was very keen to start against Bath this weekend, and is looking forward to running out at the Stoop on Saturday.
On the injury front, a few players are one week closer to returning to action in Quins colours. Paul Burke, Chris Bell and Keith Wood should all be back in action within the next two to three weeks. Dan Luger is also progressing well and it now looks as though we should see him again in the Quins shirt before Christmas.
Turning to Saturday, we have yet another full house at the Stoop for our clash with Bath. They are now over all their injury problems with Matt Perry, Mike Catt and Steve Borthwick all back in the team and joining some excellent players in Danny Grewcock, Kevin Maggs and Mike Tindall. Defensively, Bath are very well organised, in Grewcock and Borthwick they have one of the best lineouts in the country, both in attack and defence, and in Mike Catt one of the most creative players in England.
It will be a huge challenge as always this Saturday - please remember that kick-off is 2pm.
Look forward seeing you all on Saturday, when I am sure you will give Andre a tremendous welcome to his new home.
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.