This Event is somewhat unusual, amongst the many press releases I get the lovely people at Premiership Rugby I had a media invitation from Harlequins. A chance to go and watch them train at the Surrey Sports Park and be amongst the first to lay eyes on the new shirt.

IMG_2772

IMG_2776
I had a free day so hastily fired off a text to say, yes please, can I attend? I had a text back asking me who I wanted to talk to, not really knowing the protocol I left that choice with Callum.

IMG_2777

IMG_2778

He very kindly lined up Joe Gray and George Lowe for me, more of that later.
I plugged the advised postcode into my Satnav and ended up at a loading bay for a hospital! I’m glad to say a local who stopped near me was able to point me in the right direction.

IMG_2783

IMG_2792
The Surrey Sports Park is a very impressive and more to the point, big facility. Luckily I met Callum as I was wandering around aimlessly, he drove me along with a couple of camera men down to the area where Quins were training.

IMG_2793

IMG_2799
The squad were spread across 2 rugby pitches and broken down into groups with the play makers in the form of the Fly Halves including Nick Evans and Ben Botica on the top field and the rest in groupings largely dependent on their positions.

IMG_2804

IMG_2806

One thing that struck me were the sheer numbers, they were wearing as you can see fluorescent training tops, and very nice they were too! Considering there were players missing on international duty the bottom pitch was a sea of green.

IMG_2808

IMG_2812

I understand that this session was more light hearted than a standard day, but it was good to see  the rapport between the players, there was a fair amount of laughter especially when Tom Williams, now in coach mode, had a line of backs to catch a tennis ball fired off from a racquet.

IMG_2813

IMG_2830

I believe there is a method to the madness, but they certainly had a lot of fun too!  Towards the end of the session a group made up of both backs and forwards ‘played’ with the tennis ball for the sake of it, this is clearly a group of men who enjoy each others company – again there was a lot of laughter.

IMG_2835

IMG_2840

One group that really interested me were the front 5, they were working away in the corner, specifically on holding up the man with the ball.  It was amazing to see close up and understand just how much strength but also how much technique is involved on preventing the man going to ground.

IMG_2843

IMG_2850

Adam Jones newly signed was amongst this group and he was listening just as intently as the two lads of 18 and 19.

IMG_2851

IMG_2855

The group moved to practice lifting the man in the lineout, again it was interesting to confirm just how much work goes into perfecting things.

IMG_2857

IMG_2859

I moved up to watch the kickers, again it was good to see the more experienced players working with the younger ones.  As ball after ball was kicked to gain the precision needed during the 80 minutes of a game.

IMG_2868

IMG_2872

IMG_2873

With the session coming to an end I had an ‘interview with Joe followed by George – those will follow at another time.

IMG_2879

IMG_2890

Another thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, polished off by being able to watch my nephew train with the Quins Under 18’s.  Very discreetly of course, but he did spot me in the end and come over and give me a hug  from his 6ft 4ish – that involved a lot of bending down on his part.
IMG_2888

IMG_2891

IMG_2889

It was funny to see Marland Yarde on this contraption as I was heading to my car, and very good of him to pose for a photo!  Really nice people on the whole rugby people!

IMG_2479

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s