Harlequins v Biarritz live on Sky Sports 1HD: Heineken Cup match preview

Last updated: 13th October 2012  

Iain Balshaw Biarritz Top 14

Iain Balshaw: Former England international will line-up for Biarritz

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Tom Williams: Returns from a hip injury to face Biarritz

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Harlequins have made five changes for their opening Heineken Cup Pool Three contest with two-time finalists Biarritz at the Stoop on Saturday.

Tom Williams has recovered from a hip problem to take his place on the wing, while Danny Care returns at scrum-half after starting the defeat to Exeter last time out on the bench.

In the forwards there are two changes in the front row as Joe Marler comes back in at loosehead prop and Rob Buchanan makes his first start of the season at hooker in place of the injured Joe Gray.

The final change comes in the back row and sees flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu return to the starting XV with Tom Guest dropping to the bench.

Last season's Amlin Challenge Cup winners Biarritz go into the clash on the back of a poor run of form having lost their last four games.

The Basque outfit have named former Crusaders and Leinster playmaker Mat Berquist at fly-half while former England full-back Iain Balshaw also starts.

France stars Imanol Harinordoquy and Dimitri Yachvili are absent due to injury while fellow international Damien Traille is on the bench.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care,8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Seb Stegmann.

Biarritz: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Dane Haylett-Petty, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Talalelei Gray, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Thibault Dubarry, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Benoit August, 17 Lodewicus Blaauw, 18 Thomas Synaeghel, 19 Pelu Taele, 20 Benoit Guyot, 21 Julien Peyrelongue, 22 Damien Traille, 23 Benoit Baby.

What they said...

Harlequins captain Chris Robshaw

"We want to push through to that quarter-final stage. It's all about winning your first couple of games. As soon as you let those slip away then you are playing catch-up."

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea

T"here was a lot of soul searching and words spoken (after the loss to Exeter). We haven't had one of those meetings for quite a long time and it was more coach led." O'Shea told the London Evening Standard.

"It was all about mindset. We will not struggle with that again and losing at Exeter has been a good thing. The players were guilty of thinking about the Heineken Cup when we should have only been focusing on Exeter, who were magnificent. We pride ourselves on our performance and it wasn't good enough. Reaching the right level is all I'm concerned about.

"Against Biarritz we will look to deliver a performance that is intense, physical, ambitious and what Quins are really about."

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