Crane ready to help Bristol

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 14:57
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: After a 10-year career with Leicester Tigers, No.8 Jordan Crane is ready to help Premiership Rugby new boys Bristol Rugby in their quest for victory against Harlequins at Twickenham on Saturday.

The 30-year-old career at Leicester Tigers includes three glittering Premiership titles won at Twickenham and he  featured in five finals - scoring the only try of the game in 2009’s triumph over London Irish and also made two of his three Test appearances for England at rugby HQ.

After a move to Bristol Rugby, Crane says his next appearance at Twickenham should be all about the players that have hauled the side back up to the top table of English rugby after seven seasons in the Championship.

And while he will have to use all of his experience to help the West Country outfit to victory over a Harlequins' side looking to impress on their return to the London Double Header, Crane is relishing helping his new teammates through the experience.

"It’s a great start for us and very much a fitting start for all the boys that have been here the last three or four years who have got Bristol into this position," said Crane.

"It is an opportunity for us straight away to play at a huge stadium; everyone is excited about the Premiership and playing in it, but this is a special reward for the opening day of the season.

"It will be a huge day for the club and the supporters that have stuck by it as well.

"If we can really compete with every team, every week we play and stay in the Premiership this season, it will be a really successful season for us.

"And that all starts at Twickenham,"

While maintaining their Premiership Rugby status on their return to the league is top of the priority list for Crane and Bristol, it is very much a different story for Harlequins.

They enter the London Double Header, which takes place on September 3, hoping to make an early statement after the appointment of John Kingston as director of rugby.

And although Crane believes the Londoners can challenge for Premiership Rugby glory again this year having last won the coveted title in 2012, he is expecting to lock horns with a similar looking side at Twickenham with most of Harlequins squad now well-established.

"Looking across the Premiership you could probably pick eight clubs that have the potential to be fighting for the title, and Harlequins are one of them," added Crane.

"There won’t be too many changes with John Kingston coming in, although [the now retired] Nick Easter had been in that environment for a long, long time.

"Graham Rowntree will bring a bit of edge to their forwards, but generally, I think they will be fairly similar to the side they were last year.

"We’ll go there with no pressure really as it will all be on Quins in London. It’s a big game at Twickenham, and as we are the new boys they will be expecting to beat us.

"We’ll be quietly confident in what we can bring to the table, but it is the first taste of Premiership Rugby for a lot of the boys, so it will be a good indicator of where we are at as well,"

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 15 11 1 3 55
Saracens 15 10 1 4 49
Exeter Chiefs 15 8 3 4 49
Bath 15 10 0 5 47
Leicester Tigers 15 9 0 6 43
Harlequins 15 8 0 7 37
Newcastle Falcons 15 7 0 8 36
Northampton Saints 15 7 0 8 35
Gloucester 15 5 2 8 34
Sale Sharks 15 5 1 9 29
Worcester Warriors 15 3 2 10 19
Bristol 15 2 0 13 13