Quins not taking Bristol lightly

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:42
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INTERVIEW:Jamie Roberts says it will be a privilege to play when Harlequins face Premiership new-boys Bristol Rugby at Twickenham as part of the London Double Header this Saturday.

Quins take on the Championship winners at the home of English rugby after Premiership champions Saracens kick off the 2016-17 campaign by facing Worcester Warriors at the same venue.

The Welsh centre has never played in the Premiership's curtain-raiser before, and ahead of his second season at Twickenham Stoop, outlined the significance of the game.

"At club level this is one of the biggest days in the calendar, and something which is new to me," said Roberts. "To get the opportunity to play at Twickenham for Quins is a privilege, and fingers crossed I earn selection for that game.

"It was a massive experience to be able to play at a sold-out Twickenham last year [in the Big Game against Gloucester], and to kick off the campaign with a game of that magnitude at the London Double Header really sets the tone for the season and shows how big Premiership rugby is."

Roberts believes that part of the London Double Header's attraction is the fact it is the biggest and best of its kind.

"For the fans it’s a huge day out, two games in one day and three hours of rugby is unrivalled," he said. "There’s not much of it around either, particularly in XVs, and you have to look towards Sevens for that full day out at the rugby.

"There's Judgement Day back in Cardiff which is a counterpart, but I never got to play in one of those due to injury.

"But having done that at the Big Game you can start to get a feel of what it's like to wear the club shirt in front of that big crowd."

For newly-promoted Bristol, playing in the London Double Header will be a reminder of how far they have come since winning their third Championship title in May with a two-legged victory over Doncaster Knights.

Quins will be the bookmakers' favourites, but Roberts insists John Kingston's side won't be taking their opponents lightly as they look to improve on their seventh-place finish last season.

"There's no risk of complacency," said Roberts. “Bristol are a team who will come very well coached, very well trained and ready to take us on.

"There’s no doubt they'll be a tough opposition on their first time back up. They'll want to impress in the early rounds and with that comes its risks. There's huge incentive for them winning at Twickenham."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 22 17 1 4 84
Exeter Chiefs 22 15 3 4 84
Saracens 22 16 1 5 77
Leicester Tigers 22 14 0 8 66
Bath 22 12 0 10 59
Harlequins 22 11 0 11 52
Northampton Saints 22 10 0 12 52
Newcastle Falcons 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 7 2 13 46
Sale Sharks 22 7 1 14 40
Worcester Warriors 22 5 2 15 33
Bristol 22 3 0 19 20