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John Kingston bemoans injuries to quartet as Harlequins go down to Worcester

John Kingston was left counting the cost of injuries to four key players on a miserable afternoon for Harlequins, who suffered a 24-17 defeat at the hands of struggling Worcester.

England duo Jack Clifford and Chris Robshaw, plus Wales centre Jamie Roberts and young lock George Merrick were all replaced by the start of the second half at Sixways.

Robshaw continued to play on, after having treatment on his left arm, but was eventually the last of the quartet to be withdrawn at half-time and his involvement in England's squad session this week is now in jeopardy.

Quins director of rugby Kingston said: "There was enormous amount of disruption for us with a number of our leading players gone by half-time.

"Chris should have come off when he had the bang but bravery kept him out there as we were in a mess. Our medics will report to England, they are due down there at noon tomorrow, so he'll probably go regardless.

"Jack has concussion, George failed a head injury assessment, so they are both doubtful for next week, while Jamie has a cut leg and aggravated something."

Worcester led 21-0 at one stage thanks to tries from Dean Hammond and Ben Te'o, the first of which was converted by Ryan Mills, who added four penalties over the course of the match.

Quins' second-half fightback, following tries from Charlie Matthews and Alofa Alofa, with Tim Swiel adding seven points with the boot, was ultimately in vain as they suffered a 12th defeat in 13 away Aviva Premiership matches.

Kingston added: "We've got to be more competitive though we were excellent in the last 15 minutes.

"We deserve to be where we are in the table as we are too inconsistent, we have tried to change our preparation for away games but it didn't work as we had a poor start.

"Worcester played really well as there are no weak sides in the division and there was no shock in their ability to perform."

Next up for the Quins is Saturday's home game against another struggling side in Sale.

Kingston said: "We have to focus on that and scrub up after the butchery that his taken place today."

After their Boxing Day defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Bristol, it was imperative that Worcester regrouped and head coach Carl Hogg was delighted with the character of the side.

He said: "After Bristol it was a tough week but we had to come out fighting as we put ourselves in a corner.

"Our endeavour and spirit was outstanding in an attritional game but every match is tough and results are decided on tight margins.

"Ben Te'o was great and he's a very good player who today showed his commitment to the club."

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