Ok. I have now proved that I am pretty poor at keeping up with these blogs. So I'm not going to bother trying to claim to get better at posting more regularly.
My last post was back at the start of December, a whole 2 months ago. And there has probably been a ton of interesting stuff that happened in this time.
So - lets get going shall we.
First up - the international players all came back from duty, and as expected they were pretty beat up. Thankfully no major injuries, but they all needed a bit of rest. This didn't happen though as they were straight back into European duty.
Now then - the European cup. The two games of this we played in December were back-to-back against Leinster. First up at The Stoop and despite being underdogs we overcame the odds to win. This was a really brilliant performance. Our defence was huge from start to finish, and we really put them under pressure. We also took our chances when they were handed to us.
I was lucky enough to go along to the away game. This was played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. I've always wanted to go to Dublin, and I jumped at the opportunity. So I flew out a day after the squad, on the morning of the game. Working the game was incredible. The facilities they have at the stadium are fantastic, and the atmosphere was totally insane. Such a loud crowd and it was like a sea of blue in the stands.
Now - this trip ended in a bit of humiliation for me, as I went out on the town that night with some of the players, and last years Quins intern Ciaran - who happens to live nearby so knows the area very well.
This led to me missing my flight home. I slept through 4 alarms, yes 4! Waking up at 10:20, after my flight left the ground at 09:30. Awesome. So I booked myself a new flight and went home - with a very sore head.
Since then we have had a bit of a mixed bag in terms of performances. We've had some where we've looked fantastic, and others where we really don't. As a result, we are now out of the European Cup, and the LV Cup. Only leaving us with the Premiership to focus on. Which is bad in ways as it would be great to still have a shot at other competitions, but at the same time it is also good as we can focus on rising up the table to gain a Euro spot for next season.
The squad has also picked up a few more injuries recently, which is never good and hard to see. We've had a few new faces come through, a couple of props, a new scrum-half, and a back row player. It's kind of cool to have a few new faces about as it freshens things up a bit. But sad in that they came in to replace injured guys.
It's also the time of year where players are making career decisions for the future. A large number of guys have been re-signing at the club, which is great, but a couple have decided to move on elsewhere. Quins have also started looking outside for new people to bring in - such as the announcement of James Horwill, former Australia Captain, signing for after the 2015 World Cup. I personally think this is a really good signing and should sit in our pack quite well.
Personally speaking it's an odd time of year as Henry, Richie and myself are all starting to think about "What's Next?" I don't think there is going to be any opportunity to stay on at Quins unfortunately as I don't think any jobs will be opening up, so we have all started doing the daily scrolling through job sites like the UKSCA, UKSport, Times Education Supplement, BUCS and the LinkedIn Job Board. It gets a little tedious, but it has to be done as everyone in our position around the UK is in the same boat and looking for work. I've also been emailing around a few other clubs trying to see what might be opening up for the 15/16 season, but not having a lot of luck.
Ok, so I think we're now up to date.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy.
Please feel free to get in contact with thoughts (or job offers) ...