Friday, 7th December 2018 @ 12:00
Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard has made three changes to the team that beat Exeter Chiefs last Friday night for this weekend’s visit to Benetton in the Challenge Cup tomorrow (kick-off: 14:00 GMT).
Danny Care and Kyle Sinckler are rotated out and in come Charlie Mulchrone at Scrum-half, Phil Swainston at Tighthead and Mat Luamanu replaces Ben Glynn in the second row.
James Chisholm, who scored one of Quins’ four tries against Exeter last week, will captain the team again at number eight and is part of a back row that has been unchanged for the past three matches - with Exeter man-of-the-match Alex Dombrandt and Jack Clifford as flankers.
Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “We were pleased with our win against Exeter last week but since that moment our minds have been completely focused on Benetton in the Challenge Cup.
“Our attack was very dangerous last week creating 11 linebreaks against the league’s most frugal defence and we are now looking to building on that development and making ourselves even more difficult to defend against.
“Our attack coaches, Tofty [Mark Mapletoft] and Snap [Nick Evans], have been working very hard in tandem with our game generals to keep finding a way to be more assertive, innovative and dominant with the ball.
“Alex Dombrandt was singled out for praise last week which is great to see. He has worked hard on developing both sides of his game and is deserving of the opportunities he has taken to impress in this famous shirt. He was part of a superb back row unit with Jack Clifford and James Chisholm also performing at a level that will help drive the team forward. Behind the scrum Danny Care, Nathan Earle and Mike Brown were once again instrumental in our victory against the league leaders.
“We have won one and lost one in the Challenge Cup so far, so the next two weeks are very important to put us on the right track to progress in the competition. We are aware of the threat they pose, the talent at their disposal and we are determined to play to our identity and continue the momentum we have generated.”
Harlequins squad to play Benetton (kick-off: 14:00 GMT)
15. Mike Brown (304)
14. Nathan Earle (11)
13. Joe Marchant (67)
12. Francis Saili (12)
11. Gabriel Ibitoye (9)
10. James Lang (32)
9. Charlie Mulchrone (27)
1. Joe Marler (178)
2. Dave Ward (153)
3. Phil Swainston (17)
4. George Merrick (88)
5. Mat Luamanu (69)
6. Alex Dombrandt (7)
7. Jack Clifford (81)
8. James Chisholm (Captain, 66)
16. Max Crumpton (9)
17. Lewis Boyce (25)
18. Will Collier (137)
19. Ben Glynn (28)
20. Paul Lasike (7)
21. Niall Saunders (3)
22. Marcus Smith (40)
23. Cadan Murley (6)
Not considered for selection
Next up at The Stoop
Harlequins v Benetton, European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 4, Saturday 15th December (kick-off 14:00). Tickets available at tickets.quins.co.uk
Highlights from the fifth/sixth placed Play-Off at the Premiership Rugby Under 18s Finals Day between Harlequins U18s and Sale Sharks U18s.