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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 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||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|
|Saturday 28th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|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|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com