Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Argentina Players in England - Harlequins
One of London´s four teams in the Aviva Premiership is the Harlequin Football Club, more commonly referered to as Harlequins or simply Quins. The team is based at the Twickenham Stoop, next door to rugby headquarters, Twickenham Stadium itself. It is therefore a tam expected to do well and has is the reigning Amlin Challenge Cup Champion after defeating French team, Stade Français in the 2011 Final in May. The clubs home ground, the Twickenham Stoop has a capacity of slightly over 14,000 but is an intimidating place for visiting sides. The Harlequins, like the other London based sides move big matches to larger venues with Twickenham hosting some home matches every season. The club has had an up and down period during the professional era including being relegated to England second division in 2005 after finishing in bottom place of what was then known as the Zurich Premiership.
The teams place in the National Division One (second division) was short lived, however, as the Harlequins were the dominant side in the 2005-2006 competition, winning 25 of their 26 matches. Since returning to Englands first division the club has been a much stronger side and has produced a number of international players for England including Nick Easter, David Strettle, Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw, Ugo Monye and Danny Care. Of these players only Nick Easter made the English squad for Rugby World Cup 2011 but Danny Care as expected to be selected before injuring a toe in a warm-up match vs Wales. Of the teams current player roster there are also players involved in the soon-to-finish Rugby World Cup tournament being played in New Zealand. Secondrower Tomas Vallejos was selected in the Pumas squad despite being uncapped before the tournament. His pace comes after two strong seasons with the Harlequins after previously playing in Italy. The club is also the home of flyhalf Benjamin Urdapilleta who was not selected for New Zealand 2011. Winger Gonzalo Camacho was the clus hero in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final earlier in 2011 but rather than extending his stay with the club has moved to play for rivals Exeter. Pumas centre, Gonzalo Tiesi, used to play for the club before moving to Stade Français for the 2010-2011 season. Samoan international flanker, Maurie Fa'asavalu is a Quin.