Friday, 13th March 2020 @ 12:00
Paul Gustard and his coaching group have named their squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Cup Final on Sunday against Sale Sharks.
Returning to the squad is James Lang, who has been injured for several months but reclaims his spot in the midfield with All Black Francis Saili who makes his first start after an injury lay-off, having come off the bench in the past two matches.
Luke Northmore retains his spot on the wing, with Gabriel Ibitoye hoping to continue his try scoring form in the competition on the other flank.
Fijian international Tevita Cavubati replaces the injured Matt Symons in the second row, joined by Glen Young, and South African Stephan Lewies, who is set to make his return from a few weeks out, being named as a Game Changer.
Head of Rugby at Harlequins, Paul Gustard said: “This weekend presents a great opportunity for the Club, and the squad, to reflect the growth we have been making.
“This is our first final since 2016 and we have confidence in our game plan. Sale have been a real force in England this year and with the litany of international talent they possess, they will be a tough opponent.
“Final football is an 80-minute affair and is independent of any other statistic. We know we need to be at our very best, get a bit of luck and with strong officiating we believe we can achieve success.
“It’s great to have some added depth to our squad this week with the return of James Lang who will start at 13 in the absence of the injured Tom Penny, who has been soldiering on the last few weeks playing with an injury, for the good of the team.
“Likewise, we see the return of Stephan Lewies, who has been out for five weeks, which, allied to the disappointing news of Matt Symons’ injury, is a boost to the team.
“We have respected the competition by backing our young players and it’s a credit to our pathway that we see Jack Musk, Alex Dombrandt, James Chisholm, Niall Saunders, Luke Northmore, Marcus Smith and Gabriel Ibitoye all make the match 23 for their first final in the famous Quarters, in the infancy of their professional careers.
“We look forward to the game and we are committed to being brave with our performance. We hope our fans come up and support the team. Finals are hard to make, and it will be great that we can share this one with our fantastic supporters.”
Harlequins Starting XV:
1 Mark Lambert (251)
2 Scott Baldwin (11)
3 Simon Kerrod (20)
4 Glen Young (14)
5 Tevita Cavubati (17)
6 James Chisholm (89) (VC)
7 Chris Robshaw (292) (C)
8 Alex Dombrandt (44)
9 Danny Care (276) (VC)
10 Marcus Smith (79)
11 Gabriel Ibitoye (40)
12 Francis Saili (34)
13 James Lang (59)
14 Luke Northmore (4)
15 Aaron Morris (45)
16 Jack Musk (11)
17 Nick Auterac (23)
18 Will Collier (170)
19 Stephan Lewies (13)
20 Semi Kunatani (24)
21 Niall Saunders (16)
22 Paul Lasike (22)
23 Travis Ismaiel (8)
Not available due to injury:
Santiago Garcia Botta
Harlequins have linked up with Croydon-based school to deliver partnership that improves pupils on and off the field