Monday, 9th September 2019 @ 10:00
Seven Harlequins players have been selected to represent their nations at this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Taking place from 20 September to 2 November, this year’s tournament heads to Asia for the very first time as players look to make their mark on the biggest stage in the sport.
The timings for the Rugby World Cup mean that the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership Rugby season will commence at a later date, in October, with the Premiership Rugby Cup set to kick-off next week with Harlequins opening the campaign at The Stoop against Bristol Bears on Friday 20 September under the Friday night lights.
Looking ahead to the Rugby World Cup and commenting on Harlequins’ players set to compete in Japan, Paul Gustard, Head of Rugby at Harlequins said: “We are delighted and rightfully proud that we have so many players representing their country at the forthcoming World Cup in Japan.
“Harlequins has a rich history of international players and it is brilliant for all the players and staff to see our Club represented by the boys.”
A number of the Club’s experienced international players may not have been selected to represent their respective nations at this year’s tournament, but they are now fully focused and set on driving the Club forward in the opening stages of the 2019/20 campaign.
Gustard added: “As pleased as we are with those chosen, we are of course disappointed we didn’t have a few more players on their respective planes with their countries.
“The likes of Chris Robshaw, Danny Care and Mike Brown with England as well as Marcus Smith, Alex Dombrandt and Joe Marchant could all have justifiably been in the squad and can feel unfortunate not to. Then we have guys like Elia Elia with Samoa and Renaldo Bothma with Namibia who also missed out on the final selection and two of our new signings this season in Martin Landajo and Santiago Garcia Botta were also surprising omissions with Argentina. As a Club, we want our players to play international rugby as it is the pinnacle of a career and reflects well on the health of the club and performance of the team.
“We of course look to support our boys who weren’t selected and create an environment where they can prosper and continue to improve. Selection is ultimately one man’s decision and sometimes it doesn’t go your way, but the important thing for all our players to understand is that decision doesn’t define them, it doesn’t reflect the talent that they have and it certainly doesn’t question the person that they are.”
Argentina prop chats after his first training session with his new team-mates