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Danny Care: “This club should be in the top four”

Harlequins stalwart Danny Care believes his side will feel a little disappointed if they don’t reach the top four, but insists they have made some huge strides too this season. 

Quins fell to a heavy 58-26 defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the weekend, which has put a huge dent in their top four hopes for this year. They still have a slim chance thanks to Louis Lynagh’s late bonus-point try, however they will need results elsewhere to also go their way.

Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s clash with Bristol Bears, Care said: “[This season] a tricky one [to judge]. To have the wins that we’ve had this year, away in Paris and in Bordeaux; but I think at the end of the day you remember finals and you remember trophies. This club, we want to be in that top four. That was one of the goals at the start of the season.”

He added: “We’ve had a hell of a journey. It’s been a long, long season, it’s felt like three seasons into one! If we don’t get an opportunity to have a shot at the big one at the end, I would personally say we’re disappointed. There’s some great things we can look back on, but this club should be playing in the top four of the Premiership. We’ve got to have a look at that and where we potentially went wrong.”

Despite still sitting outside of the top four going into the final regular round of the season, Quins have had a great year and will be looking to end it on a high with victory over Bristol Bears on Saturday.

But who knows, it might not even be the end…

Danny Care: “We’ve taken huge strides”

Danny Care-Credit: IMAGO

As Danny Care alluded to, Quins have already had some huge victories this season. Away victories against Racing 92 and Bordeaux steered the Londoners into their first ever Champions Cup semi-final, and they have also taken scalps against Northampton Saints and Bath in the Premiership too.

This is a marked improvement on last season’s Premiership campaign too, and Care was quick to praise the introduction of head coach Danny Wilson for their positive steps forward.

“Danny Wilson coming in has been really good for the club. He’s such a wily operator, knows how to get stuff out of the forwards. A lot of that is down to Danny’s work and his detail, like how clinical we are in the 22. I think the other coaches have really thrived with him too.”

He also praised defence coach, and former teammate, Jordan Turner-Hall: “I think Jordan has been amazing. We’re trying our best to defend a bit better for him. We’re not giving him the results at the minute that we’d like to, but hopefully with time that will help.”

A number of fresh faces have also become regular’s in the starting team this season. The likes of Chandler Cunningham-South, Fin Baxter and Oscar Beard have all gone onto become key cogs in the starting team, and Jarrod Evans has also impressed off the bench or when deputising for Marcus Smith.

“You’ve seen some real development of some young players coming through in this squad,” said Care. “Chandler Cunningham-South, Oscar Beard, Will Joseph, Will Porter, Jared Evans; we’ve hopefully shown some more strength and depth, which hopefully will take this club forward.”

He added: “We’ve made a lot of strides; but we’d love to be playing in the big games come the end of the season.”