Premiership Lowdown: Harlequins

Fact-File:

Last season: 6th

Home ground: Twickenham Stoop (114 miles)

Odds: 40/1

Hopeful Harlequins:

A steady if unremarkable season under new Director of Rugby John Kingston saw Quins secure a Champions Cup place and successfully transition club legends Nick Easter and Nick Evans into the coaching staff.

With the retiring Evans hampered by injury in his final season, Quins struggled to fill the void left by their record points scorer but the acquisition of Montpellier half-back Demetri Catrakilis adds a quality option at fly-half.

The ability of Catrakilis to replace the talismanic Evans will be key to Quins improving on last season’s sixth place finish with memories of his dominance in his final home game, where he kicked 22 of his side’s 32 points against Wasps, still fresh.

Quins have also moved to secure several of the first-team squad with Joe Marchant, Elia Elia and Aaron Morris all signing new deals as the London side look to build after finishing the season with 11 wins and 11 defeats.

The additions of forwards Phil Swainston and Ben Glynn will also provide extra cover when Quins’ internationals are away with Kyle Sinckler, Jamie Roberts and Mike Brown just three of the top-quality players at Kingston’s disposal.

Ins and Outs:

In:

Demetri Catrakilis (Montpellier), Renaldo Bothma (Bulls), Dave Lewis (Exeter Chiefs), Phil Swainston (Wasps), Lewis Boyce (Yorkshire Carnegie), Josh McNulty (Gloucester), Francis Saili (Munster), Ben Glynn (Bristol)

Outs:

Tyler Gendall (Bristol), Matt Hopper (Oyonnax), Nick Evans (retired), Karl Dickson (retired), Matt Shields (Rotherham Titans), Netani Talei (retired), Dan Murphy (Hartpury RFC), Jonas Mikalcus (Hartpury RFC), Owen Evans (Doncaster Knights), Mark Reddish (retired)

Last season v Wasps:

Premiership Round 5: Wasps 47-18 Harlequins

Premiership Round 21: Bath 32-13 Wasps

Dates for the diary:

Wasps v Harlequins: September 17 2017; 15:00

Harlequins v Wasps: February 9/10/11 2018; kick-off to be confirmed

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