Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Flutey ready for Quins test

England centre Riki Flutey admits Wasps are "hurting" ahead of Friday night's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final clash against London rivals Harlequins.

Flutey and company are experiencing, by their own high standards, a dismal season. They currently lie eighth in the Aviva Premiership with no hope of claiming a title play-off place, while their Heineken Cup campaign ended through a pool stage exit almost three months ago.

"It is going to be a huge match and a possible avenue to qualify for next season's Heineken Cup," said Flutey. "We are hurting after our last couple of defeats, and there is a short turnaround for us after playing last Sunday, but we have to put that behind us and concentrate on a hugely-important tie."

He added: "That means we have to cut out the penalties and turnovers we gave away against London Irish at the weekend. If you give any team around 15 of those a match, you are going to struggle to win.

"If we can do that, we are confident we can beat anyone."

Current form, though, suggests a Quins win, plus the fact they have beaten Wasps twice and drawn with them once this season.

A last-four encounter away to Brive or Munster later this month looms for the winners, while the second-tier European tournament also features Clermont Auvergne and Stade Francais among its quarter-finalists.

Quins head coach John Kingston said: "When you look at the quality of the teams involved, it is far from a subsidiary competition. It is a very big competition and there are some very big sides left in it.

"Wasps are a very stubborn group and work hard for each other. They have had their ups and downs over recent weeks, but what you know about Wasps is that they always give you a tough match.

"We want to make sure we capitalise on home advantage and nail the win. We are well aware that it's knockout rugby on Friday night."


From Belfast Telegraph