34 Friday, 4 September 2009 London Lite LITESPORT HARLEQUINS Head coach: John Kingston Captain: Will Skinner Ground: The Stoop (14,816 cap) Last season: GP: 2nd (lost in semi-final). HC: Lost in quarter final to Leinster England elite squad players: 3 (Care, Easter, Monye) Players in: Rory Clegg (Newcastle), John Andress, Lewis Stevenson, Josh Drauniniu (all Exeter), James Johnston (Samoa), Karl Dickson (Bedford), Gonzalo Camacho (Argentina) Players out: Mike Ross (Leinster), Chris Malone (London Irish), Charlie Amesbury (Newcastle), Epi Taione (Racing-Metro), Andy Gomarsall (Leeds Carnegie), Peter Bracken, John Brooks, Phil Davies, De Wet Barry (all released) LONDONS GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP CLUBS LONDON IRISH Head coach: Toby Booth Captain: Bob Casey Ground: Madejski Stadium (24,100 cap) Last season: GP: 3rd (Lost to Leicester in Grand Final). ECC: Lost to Bourgoin in quarter-finals. England elite squad: 3 (S Armitage, D Armitage, Hodgson) Players in: Ryan Lamb (Gloucester), Chris Malone (Harlequins), George Stowers (Kobe, Japan), Andy Buist, Andy Perry (both Newcastle), Paulica Ion (Bath), Jamie Lennard (Doncaster), James Tideswell (Plymouth) Players out: Shane Geraghty (Northampton), James Hudson (Newcastle), Tonga Leaaetoa (Toulon), James Bailey (Lyons), Richard Skuse (Saracens), Warren Fury, Eoghan Hickey (both Wasps), Dominic Shabbo (London Welsh) LONDON WASPS Director of Rugby: Tony Hanks Captain: Tom Rees Ground: Adams Park (10,516 cap) Last season: GP: 7th. HC: Group stages England elite squad: 5 (Payne, Rees, Shaw, Vickery, Worsley) Players in: Steve Kefu (Castres), Lee Smith (Leeds Rhinos), Tom Varndell (Leicester), Dan Ward-Smith, David Lemi, Jason Hobson (all Bristol), Ben Jacobs (Saracens), Marty Veale (Northland), Warren Fury, Eoghan Hickey (both L. Irish), Ben Broster (Worcester), Chris Whitehead (Cov.) Players out: James Haskell, Tom Palmer (both Std. Francais), Riki Flutey, Pat Barnard (both Brive), Tom Voyce (Gloucester), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jeremy Staunton (Leicester), Michael Holford (L Welsh), Damian Varley (Munster) Josh Lewsey, Raphael Ibanez (both retired), Rob Hoadley (coaching), Mossy Lawler SARACENS Director of rugby: Brendan Venter Captain: Steve Borthwick Ground: Vicarage Road (18,214 cap) Last season: GP: 9th. ECC: Lost in semi-finals to Northampton England elite squad: 1 (Borthwick) Players in: Carlos Nieto (Gloucester), Richard Skuse (L Irish), Schalk Brits (Stormers), Frik Venter (Sharks), Ethienne Reynecke, Ernst Joubert (both Lions), Derrick Hougaard (Leicester), Mike Horak (Treviso), Rhys Gill (Cardiff), Kevin Barrett (Exeter), Mike Tagicakibau (L Welsh), Mouritz Botha (Bedford) Players out: Chris Jack (W. Province), Cencus Johnston (Toulouse), Kris Chesney (Toulon), Ben Skirving (Bath), Andy Kyriacou (Ulster), Ben Jacobs (Wasps), Dan Scarbrough (R-Metro), David Seymour (Sale), Alex Walker (Newcastle), Micky Wilson (Viadana), Andy Farrell, Cobus Visagie (both retired), Gordon Ross (released) cap)(14,816StoopThe cap)(10,516ParkAdams GUINNESSPREMIERSHIPTWICKENHAMDOUBLE-HEADER Nobody loves us but we dont Care! Quins scrum-half is ready for the boo boys Flying-half: Harlequins Danny Care says the troubled summer at the club has brought the team together WASPS V HARLEQUINS TOMORROW, TWICKENHAM (KO: 5.15PM) BY GEOFF TEATHER HARLEQUINSandtheworldof rugby will be hoping tomorrows clash with London Wasps passes by without inci- dent. Without, that is, any sort of blood injury incident. Following a summer where Quins have become the most reviled club in professionalrugby,theplayerswhotake to the Twickenham turf could be for- given for feeling somewhat tentative, but not so their England scrum-half whoislooking forwardtogettingbackto matters on the pitch. Twenty-two-year-old Danny Care admitted: Wehaventtalkedabout the kind of reaction we are going to get from opposition fans and the most impor- tant thing is to stay tightasateam.Wewill stay together no mat- ter what is thrown at usanditwontmatter what they say. With ex-director of rugby Dean Richards banned for three years, physio Steph Brennan out of the game for two years and full-back Tom Williams serving a four-month ban forhispartinthefakedinjury against Leinster last season, Quins find themselves under intense pressure going into tomor- rows match. But Care said: Teams may think that we could be under pressure because of everything that has happened to the club this summer. In some ways, all thecontroversyhastakensomeof the aloneonethathassodeeplyaffectedthe club. We are desperate to improve on what we achieved last season, finishing sec- ond in the Premiership and getting to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, said Care. Some people may think thats unrealistic but we want to hit the ground running against Wasps on what should be a great occasion. After the success we enjoyed last season, opponents will be looking to close us down and the challenge is to find new ways of unlocking defences. A Task Group has been set up to try and ensure the faked injury scenario can never be played out again and the boos and catcalls will be waiting at Twickenham for the first Quins player to need treatment against Wasps. Wasps Achilles heel last term was their failure to win close games. An inability to convert chances they cre- ated and a lack of accuracy at crucial times was the main reason why they could only finish seventh in the Guin- ness Premiership. Buttheyhaveaddedfirepowertotheir squad this summer with the signings of wingsTomVarndellandDavidLemi, whilecentreSteveKefuhasjoinedfrom Castres. WithEnglandfly-half DannyCipriani looking confident and striving to pick up where he left off at the end of last season, Wasps have a backline that will strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. Flanker Serge Betsen said: When we break defences, we need to score more tries and make the difference. Last year, we lost a lot of games by onepointortwopoints.Wehavetoscore more tries than last year. OTHERMATCHES TonightSalevLeicester(7.45pm). SundayNorthamptonvWorcester(1.15pm, SS2),LeedsCarnegievNewcastle(3pm), GloucestervBath(3.30pm,SS2). pressure off us and if people think we are going to struggle to perform, then it will allow us to prove the critics wrong.Idontmindif theythinkweare going to be underdogs in matches. We have such a great group of lads here at Quins and what has happened has only brought us closer together and the unity is fantastic. Aftertheirrecentupheavalsunder head coach John Kingston, Quins need to win to ensure the contro- versy does not become an even greater millstone and match- ing -- or even bettering -- lastseasonsresultswould be a tall order after a normal summer, let TOBY BOOTH will launch the most competitive London Irish squad of rugby unions professional era on the Guinness Premiership this season. Irish, pipped for the title by Leicester last term, return to Twickenham scene of that 10-9 Premiership final defeat tomorrow where they tackle London double- header opponents Saracens. After a relatively quiet summer in the transfer market head coach Booth is set for another full-scale tilt at silverware. We are excited about the coming season, he said. We want to perform consistently in the Premiership and fight for a place at the top end of the table. Being back in the Heineken Cup and doing justice to ourselves is also important. In my opinion, the squad is the most competitive the club has had in the professional era. If the players can stay healthy, then we will be there or thereabouts. Former Gloucester fly-half Ryan Lamb was Irishs main pre-season signing, off-setting the departure of Shane Geraghty to Northampton. Its going Toby a great season SARACENS V LON IRISH TOMORROW, TWICKENHAM (KO: 2.30PM) Eye on Ryan: Irishs new signing, Lamb, from Gloucester Englandtheirsonotbut lookingiswhoscrum-half tobackgettingtoforward Twenty-two-year-old admitted:CareDanny abouttalkedhaventWe reactionofkindthe willWeteam.aastight stay together no mat- threeforbanned Stephphysioyears, theofoutBrennan game for two years and WilliamsTomfull-back banfour-monthaserving injuryfakedtheinparthisfor season,lastLeinsteragainst underthemselvesfindQuins intense pressure going into tomor- thatthinkmayTeamssaid:CareBut ofbecausepressureunderbecouldwe everything that has happened to the club this summer. In some ways, all theofsometakenhascontroversythe going to be underdogs in matches. ladsWe have such a great group of here at Quins and what has happened andtogethercloserusbroughtonlyhas the unity is fantastic. underupheavalsrecenttheirAfter QuinsKingston,Johncoachhead contro-theensuretowintoneed versy does not become an even greater millstone and match- ing -- or even bettering -- wouldresultsseasonslast aafterordertallabe letsummer,normal Eye on Ryan: Irishs new signing, Lamb, from Gloucester index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html