Yesterday saw Bath Rugby drawn into pool 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup alongside Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby and Harlequins. We have taken a closer look at Gallagher Premiership rivals Harlequins.
Harlequins guaranteed Champions Cup rugby for 2019/20 after finishing 5thin the Gallagher Premiership. The London based side enjoyed a decent cup run in this seasons Champions Cup. The premiership side made their way to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup before falling to Clermont Auvergne, who went on to win the competition.
Bath will visit the 14,800 Twickenham Stoop twice next season. This season saw Bath Rugby secure a memorable 32-37 victory over Harlequins at She Stoop in the Gallagher Premiership, with Bath Rugby centre Jamie Roberts crossing against his former side. Tries from Zach Mercer, Joe Cokanasiga and Chris Cook helped guarantee the victory.
It was heartbreak for Bath against Harlequins at the Rec this season. A late Nathan Earle try snatched a 29-31 victory for the visitors.
Harlequins are no strangers to European success although they have never won the Champions Cup. The English side have been crowned Champions in the Challenge Cup three times in 2000/01, 2003/4 and 2010/11 respectively and will be taken very seriously in next season’s top tier competition.
Players to Watch
Care has had an illustrious career in Rugby, with 84 international appearances for England. The 32-year-old joined Harlequins in 2006 from Leeds and has now made over 250 for the Club. His high tempo style of play and quick thinking makes him a danger to any opposition. With nine tries last season, the scrum half is showing no sign of slowing down.
Alex Dombrandt made his mark on the Gallagher Premiership this season, eventually leading to an England call up against the Barbarians. The versatile back rower found his way to the try line 11 times this season in 24 appearance. At just 22 years old, the 6’3”, 120kg number eight has an exciting career ahead and the battle against the back row proves to be a fierce one.
Marchant made his debut for the club in the 2014/15 season and has gone on to make over 50 appearances for Harlequins. The centre has had a stellar season for Harlequins, crossing over the whitewash for 14 tries in 24 appearances and like Dombrandt earnt himself an England call up to face the Barbarians at Twickenham.