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."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 28 October 2016
Ulster v Munster 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Edinburgh v Zebre 18h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 29 October 2016
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Allianz Park
Ospreys v Dragons 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Connacht 16h15 RDS Arena
Sun, 30 October 2016
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Sale Sharks 15h00 Ashton Gate
Exeter Chiefs v Bath 15h00 Sandy Park
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 0 1 25
Wasps 6 5 0 1 23
Bath 6 5 0 1 22
Leicester Tigers 6 4 0 2 19
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 1 3 15
Newcastle Falcons 6 3 0 3 14
Sale Sharks 6 2 1 3 13
Harlequins 6 3 0 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 11
Gloucester 6 1 1 4 11
Worcester Warriors 6 1 2 3 9
Bristol 6 0 0 6 2