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Harlequins head coach Danny Wilson looking to make ‘club history’ as they look to reach European quarter-finals

Harlequins head coach Danny Wilson is looking to create club history and steer the Londoners into the second knockout round of the Champions Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

Quins have won a European Challenge Cup back in 2011, and in previous Champions Cup formats have been in the quarter-finals (when there was no last-16), however they have never progressed past the first knockout stage in Europe’s elite competition.

Speaking on the opportunity that lies before his team, boss Wilson said: “[We have an] opportunity to do something for the first time in the club’s history. To progress from a knockout game in Europe, achieve it and then progress from it, is ultimately our goal and obviously a huge achievement; and then anything can happen when you’re in to knock out rugby with three games in to, you could come away with a trophy. That’s the exciting bit for everybody.”

Quins have also been given the perfect chance to win their first ever knockout game at Europe’s top table. Their form in the pool stage has earned them a home tie this weekend against Glasgow Warriors, and Wilson said their home support could guide them to victory.

“What we were thrilled with was getting a home knockout game, an achievement to come out of the group we did with Toulouse, Racing 92, Ulster, Cardiff,” he said. “Now we’ve got to make the most of it, to play in front of a packed Stoop.”

He added: “The obvious advantage, first of all, is playing in front of your own friends, family, supporters. It builds an atmosphere for the home team. There’s nothing like that.”

Whilst the focus will, of course, be on Quins; they face a tough challenge from their URC opponents.

The Warriors have a squad littered with international talent, including Zander Faegerson, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey and Sione Tuipolotu, and are in good form at the moment. They sit second in the URC table, and come down to the Stoop off the back of a resounding 45-3 win against the Scarlets.

These factors leave Wilson knowing his team cannot underestimate their opponents this weekend: “We’re playing a very good side who are full of internationals, so it’s going to be a real good challenge. We know we’re playing a very good team.”