Press Notes | Harlequins | Gallagher Premiership | R20

27 May 2021

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper spoke to the media ahead of Bath Rugby's trip to take on Harlequins in the Gallagher Premiership.


On Harlequins…

They’ve been on a fantastic run of form, probably since the last time they played us. Their attacking threat is considerable; I think that’s because they’re pretty multi-dimensional. Marcus Smith kicks the ball very well and he can find back-field space, but he has also demonstrated how he can take the ball to the line and the likes of Dombrandt on the inside have been a big threat for them.

All credit to them, they’ve played exceptionally well over the past four months.


On the finishing objective…

It is absolutely our objective to finish in the top eight, in the Champions Cup is where we want to be and we have got three games to do that against some decent opposition (Harlequins, Gloucester, Northampton Saints), two away, one at home. 

That is the objective and we would rather be talking about other objectives at this time of year but that is where we are and that is the focus.


On injury news…

It was good to have a week off to rest a few bumps and bruises to get people back on deck. 

Hopefully Josh Matavesi will be there and a few other boys as well by Saturday.

Jacques should be alright. We did have a look for hookers because after the game he was not looking particularly likely to be fit which left us with Tom Doughty and John Stewart who has not made a senior appearance for the club. So even just for training numbers it was important to have a look but because we had the week off that bought us a little more time and we are happy going into this weekend.

The medical team have done an amazing job on Jacques and he has done a great job, and hopefully he should be ready to go.  

Jack hurt his knee against Montpellier, he had a slight meniscus tear, so he has had an arthroscopy. It is a minor tweak and we are looking to hopefully get him back for the last game of the season.


On Danny Cipriani and the introduction of other new players into the squad…

Danny has come in and as we planned, he is building himself back up in the programme, he is not in full rugby yet but he is doing skills. He is having an input around the place and talking about his experiences and his views on things. He is working to a point where he will be ready to go at the start of next season.

It was always about bringing him in and acclimatising, getting to know people. I wanted to avoid having a pre-season where you come in day one and have to introduce people. 

As much as we can, even with other players we are bringing in and will bring in, we will try and bring them in before the summer break to introduce them, so we don’t have those moments in pre-season where people are new. 

Equally we could have a fair number of people away for the start of pre-season with international tours so it was important for me to at least introduce people before that happens so we are one step ahead and can hit the ground running in July.


 

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