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“There are definitely guys in the building who we’re managing”-Billy Millard details squad selection issues ahead of do-or-die clash with Bordeaux

Harlequins Director of Rugby Billy Millard has said his team are trying to find the best balance between going full strength whilst allowing players to get time off, as they prepare for one of the biggest days in the club’s history.

The Londoners won their first ever Champions Cup knockout tie against Glasgow Warriors last weekend, and they now prepare for an even tougher test against French side Bordeaux.

This latest game sits in the middle of a vital run for Millard’s men as they hope to reach the Premiership play-offs, but they face a tricky balancing act to give their international players some time off.

Danny Care, Joe Marler, Marcus Smith, Alex Dombrandt and Chandler Cunningham-South all featured for England during the Six Nations, and Dillion Lewis and Louis Lynagh also played in the Championship for Wales and Italy respectively.

This leaves Millard in a difficult position, and he detailed how they’re already managing some of the playing squad: “There are definitely guys in the building who we’re managing at the moment,” he said.

He added: “Post Six Nations, we had a group of players that got a rest, and we could manage them with us; and there was another group that were living in a very different world. There’s definitely some conversations and management going on throughout the squad.”

Whilst this is one of the biggest matches in the club’s history, Millard said any injury issues will come ahead of this: “Player welfare and injuries come in front of that, but we’ll be putting out our best foot forward.”

With there being plenty of noise surrounding possible omissions, Quins may need to rely on their full squad depth for their trip to the South of France.

Luckily for them though, Millard has confirmed Cunningham-South is now back up and running after his spell on the side lines with a calf injury.

Cunningham-South burst onto the international scene this Six Nations, as he won his first four caps off the bench before picking up the injury against Ireland. His raw power and athleticism earned him high praise when in the red rose, and Millard said he feels the former London Irish forward has come back a ‘better player’.

Chandler Cunningham-South vs Italy-Credit: IMAGO

“I got a massive soft spot for Chandler,” he said. “I think he went into the England environment and has come back a better human and a better rugby player.”

He added: “I think it’s all in front of him. It’s getting that balance of accuracy and composure, but you don’t want him to lose his wildness; I always say to him ‘stay wild’. To play at the level he needs to play at the weekend, and for England, he needs to be really accurate, and that’s what he’s come back with”.

There is more good injury news for Quins, with Millard confirming Luke Northmore, Will Porter and Jarrod Evans are back in the mix.