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Molenaar: Quins move a gamble

Tim Molenaar hopes a calculated risk can earn him a long-term Harlequins future.

The 32-year-old centre said leaving Gloucester last month was a "gamble", but admitted he could not see a route back into Nigel Davies' Kingsholm first XV.

Surplus to requirements under rugby director Davies, the Kiwi centre had failed to make an Aviva Premiership matchday squad at Kingsholm this term.

But on answering Harlequins' injury-distress call, the former Nottingham midfielder produced a man-of-the-match performance on his debut against Leicester Tigers.

Molenaar scooped the plaudits on his Quins bow as Conor O'Shea's men outgunned the Tigers 23-16 at Welford Road on November 2.

Fifth-placed Harlequins host Gloucester in the Premiership return at The Stoop on Saturday, with Molenaar admitting it will be strange to head to the home dressing room.

Molenaar said: "It was hard to leave Gloucester because it's boys I'd been with for nearly five years. It's a great club and a good place to be and I had some great times there.

"But from the rugby side of things it had been a bit frustrating, so with a club coming in that's up at the top of the Premiership it was definitely a good move.

"Obviously I didn't fit the mould at Gloucester there any more, which is nobody's fault, it's just the way it's worked out, with a change of coaches and things like that.

"But playing rugby, that's everything, that's why we're here, professional training's no fun.

"It's hard to keep in with the squad when you're not playing all the time. You've got to be positive for everybody else but, in saying that, to get back into a positive atmosphere for myself personally now at Quins was good for everyone really.

"Everyone at Gloucester has been positive about it, everyone understands I wasn't happy with the playing situation.

"But it's just a distraction for everyone really, they feel bad for you, you feel embarrassed about it. So it was a natural move really.

"Possibly I should have done it earlier. But it's worked out well and everything's rosy for now."

Molenaar formed a deadly partnership with outspoken Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu under Bryan Redpath, helping Gloucester lift the LV= Cup in 2011 and reach the Premiership play-offs.

After 75 Gloucester appearances in four years, Molenaar joined Harlequins on October 28 on a deal to run until the end of the season.

Thanking Cherry and Whites bosses for helping him make the Quins move, Molenaar admitted the onus is now on him to earn a longer stay in Twickenham.

He said: "Quins had been heavy with injuries, particularly in the centres.

"Gloucester obviously didn't feel good about me not playing either and maybe that frees up some money for them to use elsewhere. So hopefully it works out for everyone.

"There's not a lot of time really to get in the mix and make a bit of a stand to see if you can get something else.

"So it's a bit of a gamble on my part, especially moving the family for six months potentially to move again. But it puts everything back in my hands again.

"They were keen to sign me based on games they had possibly seen, so it's up to me to impress now.

"It's just putting it back into my hands helps now."


From Belfast Telegraph