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Brian O’Driscoll praises Harlequins for restoring fans’ faith in rugby


Brian O’Driscoll has argued that Harlequins are restoring supporters’ faith in rugby after the dour British and Irish Lions test series this summer.

Both the Lions, South Africa and rugby as a whole came under criticism over the summer for a test series that featured nauseating amounts of kicking, set-piece play and officiating decisions.

However, shortly before the Lions jetted off for South Africa, Harlequins produced two stunning displays in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final and final against Bristol and Exeter, and they have picked up where they left off.

Former Ireland international O’Driscoll was speaking on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight and argued that Harlequins’ recent displays are showing that attacking rugby can exist and excel in the modern game.

Brian O’Driscoll on Harlequins.

“It was end-to-end. Obviously the way Bristol went into the lead and then Marcus Smith comes on and he’s the man of the moment,” O’Driscoll started.

“But you know what’s really interesting? I was down at the golf club on Friday and played a few holes before the tomahawk [steak] and I was talking to some of the old boys down there.

“They were a bit put off from rugby by what they’d seen over the course of the summer. It feels like this Quins team singlehandedly is going about restoring our faith in what rugby is about and the style of which the game can be played.”

Quins can’t help but entertain.

Harlequins have shown they were well worth their surprising Gallagher Premiership triumph, having won their first three games of the season in style.

The Londoners have scored 17 tries in their first three games, eight of which came in Friday night’s 52-24 win against Bristol, having trailed by 21 points after 25 minutes.

Rising star Marcus Smith played his first game of the season for Harlequins on Friday having earned an extended break due to his involvement with the Lions, and put in another exceptional performance.

Harlequins were by no means the out-and-out best team in the Premiership last season, having finished fourth in the table, but their early season performances show that they are confident that they can collect more silverware.

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