Preview: Harlequins v Worcester Warriors

Date published: October 28 2016

Harlequins have announced their side to play Worcester Warriors at The Stoop on Saturday. 

There are five changes to the starting team that played Edinburgh last weekend. Club captain Danny Care returns to the line-up and is joined in the back-line with Tim Visser, who has recovered from a minor injury, and inside centre Winston Stanley.

Jamie Roberts has been rested this week, while Harry Sloan has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

In the forwards, Will Collier is named at tighthead, as Kyle Sinckler picked up a knock to his arm last week. Charlie Matthews starts in the second row and replaces Sam Twomey who sustained a foot injury against Edinburgh. The second-row is undergoing surgery next week.

Among the replacements, Mark Lambert will look to make his 200th appearance for the club.

Speaking ahead of the fixture John Kingston, Harlequins Director of Rugby, said: "We are looking forward to returning to the Premiership and we are hoping to sustain our excellent home record. Worcester have shown already this season that they are a quality outfit and we will need to be at our best to keep that run going.

"I have decided to rest Jamie Roberts as he is now straight into international rugby next weekend, while the England players will not be starting their Autumn matches until the week after.

"Both Harry Sloan and Sam Twomey have unfortunately sustained lengthy injuries which require surgery. I have no doubt they will be doing everything they can to return to fitness as quickly as possible."

Meanwhile, Chris Pennell is one of two changes to the starting line-up from Warriors' last Premiership clash. Pennell made his comeback from injury last weekend in the European Challenge Cup against Brive, but is set to make his first league appearance of the season on the wing tomorrow. 

Ben Te'o is named at inside centre for Warriors, following his call-up to the 33-man England squad. 

Academy youngster Jamie Shillcock keeps his place at full-back after signing a first-team deal earlier this week and joins a backline that also includes Jonny Arr, Ryan Lamb, Jackson Willison and Dean Hammond. 

The pack remains unchanged from the clash at Leicester Tigers three weeks ago, although Val Rapava Ruskin is set for his 50th appearance for the Club when he steps out at the Stoop. 

On the bench, flanker Dewald Potgieter returns from a lengthy injury lay-off and could make his first appearance since scoring in the win at Newcastle Falcons in March while Niall Annett is named as replacement hooker. 

Academy youngsters Charlie Hewitt and Josh Adams are also on the bench alongside Springbok World Cup winner Wynand Olivier, who scored the last time the sides met in March as Warriors came away with a 21-15 win. 

Head Coach Carl Hogg said: "We have had an outstanding week of training because the players are physically and mentally refreshed and hopefully we can show that at Quins. 

"They are a quality side and they perform much better at home. They play their unique brand of rugby and at a high tempo. It was a successful outing there last season so we're looking forward to it and we are expecting a real challenge."

Form: Harlequins last six matches in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst ‘Quins only defeat at Twickenham Stoop since March was to Exeter Chiefs in round 22 of the Premiership. Worcester Warriors single victory in any tournament since March was 11-9 at home to Newcastle Falcons in round 5 of the Premiership. Worcester’s most recent away victory came in this equivalent fixture last season on 19th March at Twickenham Stoop. That victory ended a 15 game losing run in the Premiership against the Londoners. The Warriors have won on three of their 10 previous visits to the Stoop – twice in the Premiership in 2005 and 2016 and once in the 2007/08 Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 James Chisholm, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Mat Luamanu, 20 Dave Ward, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa

Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Chris Pennell, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Charlie Hewitt, 20 Dewald Potgieter, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Josh Adams , 23 Wynand Olivier

Date: Saturday, October 29 
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Time: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT) 
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner & Roy Maybank
TMO: David Ros