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- Aviva Premiership
- 27th Dec 2008
- KO 16:00
- Ground: The Stoop
- Att: 12,700
'Big game' delights Quins chief
Evans says Harlequins are on course to sell-out Twickenham
Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans wants to sell out Twickenham in 12 months time following the success of Saturday's game against Leicester.
Quins' 26-26 draw with Leicester was watched by 50,000 fans, a restricted capacity which was a record for a regular season Guinness Premiership match.
Next year Evans is targeting a full house of 82,000 as the London club cashes in on its three-year deal with the RFU to hold their Christmas fixture at Twickenham.
"We were capped at 50,000 which meant we sold out a week in advance," he said. "I wonder how many we would have got.
"We didn't have a walk-up and we didn't have last-week sales, which are usually in five figures.
"We have a three-year deal with the RFU. Big Game II will happen, Big Game III will happen and hopefully by then we will establish it as the big London Christmas sporting event.
"Let's hope next year we can have a real go at 'Big Game II' and maybe fill Twickenham. I really think we can.
"It is about an event, about building a fan-base not just about maximising monetary return.
"Rugby is a small sport in this country and we have got to sell it.
"People don't turn up to sports clubs on a whim, it is because they have got a connection.
"If we get 82,000 next year and the profit margin increases, we will just spend it, have more fireworks."
The match saw Quins claim a dramatic draw after being 26-16 behind, and Quins director of rugby Dean Richards said: "This is a side which never gives up, a side with a huge amount of character.
"Teams are finding out that we are a difficult nut to crack. There is a resilience that wasn't there last year or the year before."
Leicester boss Heyneke Meyer predicted Evans would succeed with his tough late kick.
"I have always rated Evans as an unbelievable player. I thought he would get the kick because we didn't deserve to win the game and he is a quality player who is good under pressure," said Meyer.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com