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Easter the man for all seasons

Nick Easter will become the Aviva Premiership's oldest-ever number eight during the course of his new two-year contract at Harlequins.

The 36-year-old is currently the league's 49th oldest player of all time, and will rack up his 250th appearance for Harlequins against Leicester on Saturday.

The evergreen former England back-rower has "agreed" another two-year deal at The Stoop, and is confident he can continue to stay the Premiership course despite his advancing years.

Easter will surpass Chris Sheasby's record as the league's oldest number eight at 37 years and 160 days in the course of his impending new deal.

"You just get on with doing what you've done 249 times before that," Easter told Press Association Sport.

"I had no idea about the 250th game actually until I got a few tweets through the other day.

"It's quite a good match for it, Leicester at home and a very important game for both sides.

"It's never really bothered me that, but clearly if you've played 250 times you're going to be on the wrong side of 30.

"But I've just said as always, I'm enjoying my rugby, looking to improve my game, and as long as I've got a desire and hunger for it, it's that simple.

"We've agreed another two years here, so it's not just the end of this season."

Leicester's 39-year-old lock Brad Thorn could overtake former Wales and Saracens fly-half Paul Turner as the Premiership's oldest-ever player this season.

Easter remains unfazed by the passing of time, especially if he can continue to chase further silverware with Harlequins, to add to the 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup, the 2012 Aviva Premiership title and LV=Cup win of 2013.

"I've still got that thirst to continue the success we had for two or three years when we won three trophies," he said.

"We didn't win anything last year, and that drives you on as well.

"That's what you're in it for, silverware.

"Loyalty resonates quite strongly with me, maybe that's because I'm from the old school.

"It seems to have less of a place now because people have got to look after their futures and that's fair enough as the sport's become more brutal.

"But I'm very happy to be here and to still have the chance to do all this."

Harlequins have slipped to eighth in the Premiership table after six wins and as many defeats, while Saturday's visitors Leicester lie fifth, scenting top form at the perfect junction.

Richard Cockerill's side saw off Bath 17-8 at Welford Road last weekend to avenge their 45-0 shaming at The Rec earlier in the campaign, with Easter expecting a fierce encounter.

"They had a tough start to the season, but they have really gone back to being extremely physical again," said Easter.

"They have their edge back, at the scrum, the breakdown and the maul.

"When they are at their best they are very tough to stop, so we know just how big a game we have on our hands."


From Belfast Telegraph