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
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
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
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
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
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
RESULT SCORE
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
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
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
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 37 | 17
Bath v Harlequins 22 | 12
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