Harlequins supremo O'Shea: "We want our champions tag back"
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea wants something back that belongs to them – the Aviva Premiership title.
The Quins returned to action at the Stoop last week with a 40-15 friendly win over neighbours London Scottish.
This weekend, Glasgow Warriors are the visitors ahead of a two-week break and the season curtain raiser at Twickenham against Wasps on September 7.
Quins relinquished the league crown to Leicester Tigers last season, and although LV= Cup and the A League glory, and a quarter-final spot in the Heineken Cup constituted a good year for the supremo, O’Shea has his eye on regaining the main prize.
“We had a really good year last year, but we want to get that champions tag back,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to this season, probably more than last year when the weight of being the hunted as oppose to the hunter was on our minds.
Back home: Harlequins returned to action at the Stoop with a pre-season win over London Scottish SP78605
“I love what I am seeing in training and I am very comfortable with our preparations ahead of the Wasps game.”
He added: “It is that time of the year where everyone says they are great, I am not going to say that but I look at the players we have, the quality we have, the knowledge of the game we have and I know we can improve on last year.”
O’Shea is expecting the return of his England international contingent this week ahead of the Warriors game, marking the final phase of pre-season preparation.
It has been a busy pre-season too, with the Premiership 7s, the World 7s and a trip to Geneva to face Racing Metro 92 two weeks ago.
O’Shea said: “It has been a hectic week or two, but we got through it with more game time for players.
“With more coming back this week, we’re gradually integrating everyone back and, few long-term injuries aside, we’re where we want to be at this stage.”
Grounded: Matt Hooper is surrounded by London Scottish in the one-sided affair SP78605
He added: “It will be a big test against Glasgow, they play a great brand of rugby and they will really challenge us, which is what we need.
“We’ll try out combinations – if you look at our back row, scrum-halfs, the two 10s there is massive competition.
“There are a lot of people playing for a starting place against Wasps. People might look at the team and say is that the team that will start against Wasps? Well it may be, but it probably won’t be.”
New man: Paul Sackey in action at the Stoop in Harlequins colours SP78605
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