17 May 13
Harlequins has confirmed an exciting group of pre-season fixtures as it prepares for the start of the 2013-14 season.
"The league is a marathon and the outcome of Saturday will not determine anything in the long run but what we intend to do is lay down a marker in terms of how we approach every minute of every game this season. Our buzz words, in terms of how we play, will always incorporate tempo and ambition allied to physicality and intensity in everything we do and if we can bring that to the party every game then we know we will be there or thereabouts in every match.
"Defensively we conceded, along with Saracens, the least number of tries in the Aviva Premiership last season but in attack, despite being right at the top of all the attack stats, we didn't finish off what we created and we have been working hard to address that. Mistakes happen when you play a high tempo game and we will continue to push ourselves to do just that; it is what the players want and what supporters deserve. We want to keep our shape and composure more often when we break the line and better decision making will see us finish off more chances.
"The final area we have looked at, and our Achilles heel in many ways, was our discipline. With better discipline we would have won a lot of those close games we were involved in last season, so it has been a key word in our preparation for the new season.
"The local derby against London Irish is always a brilliant occasion; having been on both sides of the fence I know what it means to both sets of players and supporters. It will be keenly contested and both teams want to play the game the way it should be. I hope everyone enjoys Saturday and we give a performance that our players can use as a benchmark for our season, and one that our supporters are proud of. The result will look after itself".
London Irish V Harlequins, Saturday 3rd September. Kick off 2pm. Twickenham Stadium. Aviva Premiership.