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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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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com