Harlequin FC logo.svg
Full nameHarlequin Football Club
UnionMiddlesex RFU
Nickname(s)Quins, The Quarters
Founded1866; 157 years ago (1866)
(as "Hampstead Football Club")
LocationTwickenham, London, England
Ground(s)Twickenham Stoop (Capacity: 14,800)
ChairmanDavid Morgan
CEOLaurie Dalrymple
Director of RugbyBilly Millard
Coach(es)Tabai Matson
Captain(s)Stephan Lewies
Most capsMike Brown (351)
Top scorerNick Evans (2249)
Most triesDanny Care (1020456)
League(s)Premiership Rugby
2021–223rd (Semi-finalists)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Harlequins (officially Harlequin Football Club) is a professional rugby union club that plays in Premiership Rugby, the top level of English rugby union. Their home ground is the Twickenham Stoop, located in Twickenham, south-west London.

Founded in 1866 as "Hampstead Football Club", they took the name Harlequins in 1870. They were one of the founding members of the RFU. For sponsorship reasons they were formerly known as "NEC Harlequins", but principal sponsorship is currently held by DHL and Castore.[1]

Harlequins have been champions of England twice winning the title in 2012 and most recently in 2021. They won the European Challenge Cup in 2001, 2004 and 2011,[2] and the domestic cup in 1988, 1991 and 2013.

The current club captain is Stephan Lewies, with Billy Millard Director of Rugby Performance and Tabai Matson Head Coach for the 2021/22 season.[3]


Formation and early years

A Harlequin F.C. team before World War I
A Harlequin F.C. team before World War I

The Hampstead Football Club was founded in 1866 and the first recorded game took place in 1867. A disagreement between Club Secretary William Titchener and William Alford in 1867 resulted in Alford leaving with half of the membership to form the club now known as Wasps.[4] The club was renamed Harlequin Rugby Football Club in 1870, supposedly because the membership was no longer purely local and to retain the previously-created "HFC" monogram mark. The word 'Harlequin' (Arlecchino, a comic servant from the commedia dell'arte) was found in a dictionary and all present agreed to the new name.[5][6]

During its first 40 years the club played at a total of 15 venues. Since 1909, they have only played at three.[citation needed]

In 1906, the club was invited by the Rugby Football Union to use the new national stadium in Twickenham. In those early days, only one or two internationals were played there during the season, and before long Twickenham became the headquarters of the Harlequin Football Club.

1961, first East Africa tour

In 1961, Harlequins undertook a tour of East Africa in conjunction with Pretoria Harlequins from South Africa, as guests of the Kenya Harlequin F.C. and the Rugby Football Union of East Africa; the club won five and drew one. The tour is notable for two facts, it was the first time that three sister clubs of the Harlequin family all played each other in a coordinated series of matches and at 19 days it was the longest overseas tour undertaken by a British club up to that time. Despite this, the tour pales to insignificance when it is realised the Pretoria club spent four weeks in East Africa playing eight matches and another in Rhodesia on the way home.

The London club arrived at Entebbe airport at dawn on 4 May and opened their tour with a 44–13 win against Uganda in Kampala on 6 May. They played West Kenya Province at Kitale (winning 24–6), and the Pretoria Harlequins on Saturday 13 May at the RFUEA ground, Nairobi (winning 13 – 11). The next two matches were played at the same location, beating the host club 16–0 the next day and earning a 9-all tie against Kenya Central Province on Wednesday 17 May. The last match for the London club was against Kenya at Nakuru on Saturday 20 May (winning 8–0). This last match was played under a typical "long-rains" shower that, though heavy, did not soften the hard ground enough to be a problem.[citation needed]

Acquisition of The Stoop

In 1963, Harlequin FC acquired an athletics ground with 14 acres (57,000 m2) just over the road from the Twickenham ground, which became its training pitch. This subsequently become their home: the Stoop Memorial Ground which in 2005 was renamed The Twickenham Stoop. This is named after Adrian Dura Stoop, who won 15 caps for England and is said to have been the person who developed modern back play.[7]

League rugby and the professional era

With the introduction of leagues in 1987 bringing a more competitive environment, Harlequins maintained their status in the Premier Division as one of England's top 12 clubs until 2005.

The club has won the Rugby Football Union clubs knockout competition on two occasions: the John Player Cup in 1988 and Pilkington Cup in 1991. In addition, they played in the finals of 1992, 1993 and 2001.

Harlequins hold the world record for providing the most players from one club (8) in a Rugby World Cup final. In the second ever RWC final at Twickenham in November 1991, seven Harlequin players appeared for England (Will Carling, Simon Halliday, Jason Leonard, Brian Moore, Paul Ackford, Mickey Skinner, Peter Winterbottom) and Troy Coker played in the Australian pack.

They are also affiliated with amateur team Harlequin Amateurs.

Harlequins became the first British team to win the European Shield in 2001, defeating Narbonne 42–33 in the final. They then became the first team to win the tournament twice, defeating Montferrand 27–26 in the final of the renamed Parker Pen Challenge Cup on 22 May 2004.

Harlequins celebrating a try during the 2005–06 season.
Harlequins celebrating a try during the 2005–06 season.

In 2005 they were relegated to National Division One after finishing at the bottom of the Zurich Premiership. In July of that year they announced that they would be establishing a partnership with rugby league club London Broncos, which saw the two clubs sharing Harlequins home ground The Stoop from the start of the 2006 Super League season. As part of the deal, the Broncos changed their name to Harlequins RL, though the two clubs remain under separate ownership.

In 2005–06, Quins utterly dominated National Division One. They won 25 of their 26 league matches, including their first 19, losing only at Exeter Chiefs on 25 February 2006. Quins also averaged nearly 40 points per match, scored four or more tries in 20 matches, and racked up an average victory margin of slightly over 25 points. They secured their return to the Premiership on 1 April with four matches to spare, crushing Sedgley Park 65–8 while the only team with a mathematical chance of pipping them for the title, Bedford, lost 26–23 at Exeter.

For the 2008 tour to New Zealand, England coach Martin Johnson selected four Harlequin players to play for the tour, Nick Easter, David Strettle, Mike Brown and Danny Care. Also five Harlequin players were selected for the England Saxons Barclays Churchill Cup matches to the United States and Canada. Tom Guest, Chris Robshaw, Adrian Jarvis, Ugo Monye and Will Skinner were all selected with Will Skinner chosen as captain for the side.

Harlequins in a huddle during the 2008–09 season.
Harlequins in a huddle during the 2008–09 season.

2007–08 season

Chris Robshaw played a leading role in the 2007–08 season as Harlequins won 12 of their 22 Guinness Premiership matches and finished 6th in the league. Harlequins got off to a shaky start which saw them be in 2nd, 3rd 4th place consecutively, and during the latter half of the season Halequins managed to reach third after a string of seven wins out of nine, but defeats to London Irish, Sale Sharks and Leicester Tigers to finish the season meant that Quins dropped to sixth and missed out on the play-offs.

Two Harlequins players were short-listed for awards, Danny Care and Chris Robshaw, were short-listed for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season award. As well as Coach Dean Richards being short-listed for the O2 Director of Rugby of the Season as well as Tom Guest being nominated for MBNA Try of the Season for his try against Leeds Carnegie on Sunday 13 April 2008.

2008–09 season

Players to leave Quins at the end of the 2007–08 season were Adrian Jarvis, Hal Luscombe, Chris Hala'ufia, Paul Volley, Nicholas Spanghero, Simon Keogh, Ricky Nebbett and Ryan Manyika. For the 2008–09 season Quins signed five new players; London Irish centre Gonzalo Tiesi, Ulster Back-row forward Neil McMillan, Auckland Blues fly-half Nick Evans, Tongan international Epi Taione who plays on wing, centre and back row and Fijian utility back Waisea Luveniyali.

Quins finished second in the 2008-09 Guinness Premiership table. In the play-offs, they lost 0–17 at home to eventual losing finalists London Irish.

Quins also hosted their first "Big Game" at Twickenham over the Christmas period, playing out a 26–26 draw with Leicester Tigers in front of 52000 people.

In the 2008-09 Heineken Cup Harlequins came top of their pool, including beating Stade Français both at home (thanks to a dramatic last play drop goal from Nick Evans) and away in front of 80000 people in the Stade de France in Paris. They lost 5–6 at the Stoop to eventual tournament winners Leinster Rugby at the quarter final stage, a match in which the infamous Bloodgate Scandal took place.

2009–10 season

The contrast between this season and the previous season could hardly have been greater. With the shadow of Bloodgate still hanging over the club, the club struggled to an 8th-place finish despite retaining most of the players from their successful previous campaign. They also made a swift exit from the Heineken Cup at the group stages while failing to chalk up a single victory in the competition. Owing to the club's lower league position, they failed to qualify for the competition for the first time in three years.

Quins also hosted their second "Big Game" at Twickenham. Despite losing 20–21 to "London" Wasps, the game attracted 76000 spectators.

Following the resignation of Dean Richards in August 2009, Conor O'Shea was appointed Director of Rugby in March 2010.

2010–11 season

Harlequins endured a mixed 2010–11 season, which was characterised by inconsistency. They finished seventh in the league, which was insufficient to ensure Heineken Cup qualification. However, they proved their potential with some inspiring performances on their way to the Amlin Cup final. This included a historic win away against Munster in the semi-final, where they became only the second club to beat the Irish province at home in a European Competition. Harlequins won the final (19–18) against Stade Français to win its 3rd Amlin Cup.[8][9]

2011–2012 season

Harlequins started the season well, winning their first ten premiership games before losing to Saracens at Twickenham Stadium in "Big Game 4" in front of a then club record for a premiership crowd, consisting of 82,000. The club's results after the defeat to Saracens continued to be generally strong, with only three other defeats in the regular season and the club went on to finish top of the league. They played Northampton Saints at the Twickenham Stoop on 12 May 2012, a match which they won thanks to a 25–23 victory sealed with a try in the 77th minute by Joe Marler.[10] Harlequins beat Leicester Tigers on 26 May 2012, in the Premiership final at Twickenham Stadium to win their first Aviva Premiership title with a score of 30–23 in front of an 81,779 crowd. Tom Williams and Chris Robshaw scored the tries and Nick Evans scored 20 points through penalties and a conversion. Chris Robshaw was named man of the match.

During this season, Harlequins played in the Heineken Cup thanks to their victory in the Amlin Cup the season before. However, they lost out on a quarter final spot in the last game of the pool stage after a defeat to Connacht. Subsequently, they went into the Amlin Cup competition but were resoundingly beaten by Toulon. Harlequins also played in the LV= Cup but did not make it out of their group with two wins and two losses.

2012–2013 season

Main article: 2012–13 Harlequins season

Harlequins started their 2012–2013 season with four straight wins before suffering a first setback at the hands of Saracens at home in round 5 and at Exeter Chiefs in round 6. The club then managed to stay within the first two places of the table. On 29 December Big Game 5 proved to be a success with a 26–15 win over London Irish before a capacity crowd of 82,000 at Twickenham Stadium. Later in the season, the second setback came in the return game against Exeter when the Chiefs defeated Harlequins. The slide continued as they suffered back-to-back defeats against Saracens and Gloucester. They secured their place in the play-offs, but lost to Leicester at Welford Road in the semi-final 33–16.

Having qualified for the 2012-13 Heineken Cup on the virtue of their 2012 English Premiership title, Harlequins produced a strong showing in the pool stage, remaining unbeaten in pool 3 against Biarritz Olympique, Connacht Rugby and Zebre to be granted No. 1 seed for the quarter finals. However, they lost to No. 8 seed Munster at home 12–18 in the quarter final.

The LV= Cup featured a Harlequins team stripped of its players on international duty. Relying on a team of developing players, the club remained unbeaten throughout the pool stage. Harlequins beat Bath Rugby (31–23) in the semi-final at The Stoop, and defeated and Sale Sharks (32–14) in the final at Sixways Stadium. This was Harlequins' third title in the English/Anglo-Welsh Cup and the first since the inception of the Anglo-Welsh format. This title granted Harlequins a place in the 2013-14 Heineken Cup.

2013–2014 season

Aviva Premiership

Harlequins made a disappointing start to the new season suffering two defeats in their opening two home games against Northampton and Saracens. Injuries stalled their start to the season, and they found themselves in seventh after five games. Their season did eventually improve and they did begin to challenge for a top four spot. But four consecutive away defeats set them back again. They were left in sixth place, six points behind fourth, with four games left to play. A series of several closely fought wins including a try bonus point in the penultimate game against Exeter Chiefs ensured they would face a winner takes all home tie against Bath in the final round of the regular season. A 19–16 win in this game saw them march on to a semi-final at Allianz Park having finished level on points with Bath but crucially winning one more game. Saracens won the semi-final to end Quins' hopes, beating them 31–17.

Heineken Cup and Europe

Harlequins also made a poor start in Europe suffering a 26–33 home defeat against Scarlets before being beaten at Clermont Auvergne. They replied strongly with back to back wins over Racing Metro. They lost their next home game against Clermont after they lost a 13–3 lead. They did win their last game at Scarlets to secure a place in the second tier Amlin Challenge Cup competition. They won their quarter final 29–6 at Stade Francais, but lost to Northampton Saints in the next round.

2014–2015 season

Aviva Premiership

Harlequins were inconsistent at the start of the season and won half of their opening six games before heading into Europe.

The rest of the season saw this pattern continue and Quins finished 8th.[11]

European Rugby Champions Cup

Harlequins beat Castres Olympique in the first ever European Rugby Champions Cup match before an away win at Wasps and defeating Leinster at home. However, subsequent losses away to Leinster, and then at home to Wasps ensured Harlequins finished third in their group and were knocked out of the tournament.

2015–2016 season

Aviva Premiership

The start of the 2015/16 season was delayed by the 2015 Rugby World Cup. However Harlequins made a strong start having a good first half to the season. They were in 3rd place in mid-January.

One of the highlights of the seasons was the home defeat of Saracens.[12] At that time Quins hadn't beaten Saracens for 4 years and Saracens were unbeaten in their first eight games of the season.

Following this game Quins' form deteriorated, first giving away a 9-point lead at Newcastle followed by a home defeat by Northampton when fly half Ben Botica failed to kick the ball out of the play when the game had finished. It was the start of a run of 7 defeats in 9 games and, after being thrashed by the Exeter Chiefs on the final day of the season 24–62, Quins failed to earn a place in the European Champions Cup, finishing in 7th; one place below the top six finish required to qualify.

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Quins put in a very strong performance in the group stage of the Challenge Cup, topping their pool and winning all of their first five games with a bonus point. This gave them a home quarter final.[13]

They fought back from 18 to 30 down against London Irish to win and reach a home semi-final against Grenoble, they comfortably won that game to set up a final against Montpellier in Lyon. After their League form had left them out of the Champions Cup places, they needed victory to ensure a place in the competition next season. They slipped to a 26–9 deficit and got within 7 points but Ben Botica inexplicably kicked the ball out of play in his last game before heading to Montpellier to hand his new club the title, leaving Quins as runners-up and out of the Champions Cup for a second consecutive season.

The John Kingston Era (2016-2018)

Following Conor O'Shea's departure at the end of the 2015/16 season, Quins appointed John Kingston, then head coach, as his successor. A strong end to Kingston's first season left Quins on the brink of European Champions Cup qualification for the first time in three seasons.

It was achieved after a bonus point away at Northampton Saints on the last day of the season secured sixth place, with the Saints themselves missing out on games won.

Following the 2017/18 season, Kingston left Harlequins by mutual consent after 17 years of service to the club. His final home game featured a walk of honour around the stadium as thousands of fans applauded.[14]

2018 to present

2018–19 season

Harlequins then turned to appointing England defence coach Paul Gustard. At the same time, a number of coaches departed, or moved into smaller roles including Mark Mapletoft and Nick Easter, who had previously been Head Coach and Defence Coach before Gustard's appointment. After a patchy start to the 2018–19 season, Harlequins went on a five match winning run in the Premiership to move up to third, seven points clear of third place Gloucester.

Quins would have all-but sealed a place in the playoffs with victory, but were hammered 29–7 in front of their own fans, as Gloucester claimed a bonus point victory to move within touching distance of the London club. Ill-disciplined defeats at Saracens and Sale followed before a defining moment against Northampton Saints. Quins were within 90 seconds of recording a victory which would have effectively ended the hopes of Northampton and given themselves fresh momentum as the season headed into its last few games, but a try from Alex Mitchell, helped by a lack of defensive numbers on the blindside, gave Saints the victory and brought them up to fifth, right on Quins' tail.

A late penalty miss saw Quins narrowly beaten at Exeter, and though they managed to beat Leicester in the penultimate weekend, defeat on the final day against Wasps would see them miss out on the play-offs. They were tied on points with Saints, but missed out due to fewer match wins, finishing fifth overall. James Lang's late penalty attempt would have won them the game, and secured their place in the play-offs had it gone over, but it was inexplicably taken at least a metre behind where it had been awarded in the view of TV pundit and former player Austin Healy and ultimately fell under the crossbar by "the distance Austin was talking about that they were marched back," according to fellow pundit and his former teammate Ben Kay.[15]

In the Challenge Cup, Harlequins put together an impressive run, topping their group before edging Worcester Warriors in the quarter-final to book a semi-final trip to Clermont Auvergne. An impressive second half fightback was not enough as they were beaten 32–27. They won just one of their four pool matches in the Premiership Cup, to bow out at the group stage.

2019–20 season

Harlequins made 32 personnel changes after the 2018–19 season, as Gustard looked to freshen up his squad, and after only winning one of their first four games, Quins would remain unbeaten for the rest of the calendar year. However, a 48–10 defeat to Sale, their most comprehensive league defeat since defeat by the same margin against Exeter nearly four years earlier, and an early exit from Europe spelt a disappointing start to the season.

Quins would eventually finish 3rd in their Champions' Cup pool with home and away victories over Bath, but as their league form continued to fluctuate, their main contention for silverware would come in the Premiership Cup. Having earned a place in the semi-finals at the start of the season, whilst the World Cup took place, they hammered a young Exeter Chiefs side 49–22 away from home to reach the final. This was set for 15 March 2020, before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the resumption of the season, Quins recorded solid form to finish comfortably in sixth and earn qualification for the Champions Cup. Nonetheless, Gustard's hopes of a first trophy were dashed as the London club were beaten 27–19 against Sale in the Premiership Cup Final despite leading for most of the game.

2020–21 season

Harlequins began their season with a 3–33 loss at home to Exeter Chiefs.[16] By 10 January 2021, the club were positioned seventh in the Premiership table, failing to record a win at home and having also suffered a record 7–49 home defeat at the hands of Racing 92 in the Champions Cup.[17]

On 20 January 2021, it was confirmed that Paul Gustard left his role as Harlequins Director of Rugby by mutual consent .[18]

Harlequins went on to win 10 of their next 14 games,[citation needed] securing a fourth-place playoff position in the Premiership. On 19 June 2021, they played league leaders Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate, conceding 28 points in the first half an hour of the match to trail 28-0 before half-time. Harlequins went on to undertake the biggest comeback in Premiership Rugby history to finish the match 31-31 after 80 minutes, going on to win 36-43 after extra time to book their place in the final.[19]

On 26 June 2021, Harlequins played Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham, defeating the incumbent champions 38–40 to win their second Premiership title.[20]

On 2 July 2021, it was confirmed that Tabai Matson would join the club as Head Coach for the 2021–22 season.[21]


Main article: Twickenham Stoop

The Twickenham Stoop stadium
The Twickenham Stoop stadium

Harlequins play at the Twickenham Stoop, which is situated in Twickenham in south-west London. The stadium is named after former England international Adrian Stoop, who was a Harlequins player and later president of the club.

The club acquired the then athletics pitch in 1963, a ground of 14 acres (5.7 ha), close by to the RFU ground. It became the training pitch, and eventually, the Harlequins home ground. The site provided a ground that could be developed, and since then much has been done in terms of upgrading with a current capacity of 14,800. The stadium was known as the Stoop Memorial Ground for many years, but it was renamed the Twickenham Stoop in 2005.[22] They also play one game at Twickenham Stadium each December called the Big Game.

Harlequins Foundation

The Harlequins Foundation was set up in 2015 as an independent charity (1161838).

It delivers two flagship programmes: Switch – a women and girls project which aims to develop female leaders, and METTLE – a project that develops skills and knowledge to improve physical health and mental well-being for 9-12 year olds. The METTLE pilot was evaluated by St Mary's University and the programme was found to have had a positive impact on young people's self-confidence, wellbeing, decision making and mental resilience.[23]

In September 2018, The Harlequins Foundation and The Movember Foundation announced a long-term partnership in joint initiative committed to help rugby fans, and the wider community, address the issues around men's health and provide information and guidance on what to do when mental health suffers.[24]

The foundation delivers the Premiership Rugby Funded Programmes: Move like a Pro, Project Rugby, Tackling Health and Hitz.

Additionally the charity allocates grants to local organisations and charities in the local community.

In 2020 it was announced that The Harlequins Foundation would partner with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and become the only Premiership Rugby club licensed to deliver the DofE.[25]


Harlequins maintain a number of rivalries across English rugby, namely teams in the Greater London area.

Many consider Harlequins' main rivalry to be Wasps RFC. Both clubs were originally founded as one club, Hampstead Football Club, in 1866. Wasps were founded as a result of a disagreement between members of the club a year later. Hampstead Football Club changed its name to Harlequins in 1870.[26][27] Despite Wasps' move away from the London metro area to Coventry in 2014, the rivalry still persists because of its historical roots.

Other rivalries include Saracens F.C. and London Irish, both of whom are Premiership clubs that reside in north and west London respectively.[28]


Main article: Bloodgate

During the quarter final of the 2009 Heineken Cup against Leinster, Harlequins wing Tom Williams came off the field with what turned out to be a faked blood injury to facilitate a tactical substitution of fly-half Nick Evans back onto the field. An investigation by the ERC and the RFU revealed that blood injuries had also been faked by Harlequins to enable tactical substitutions on four previous occasions. These findings resulted in a twelve-month ban for Williams – reduced to 4 months on appeal, a three-year ban for former director of rugby Dean Richards and a two-year ban for physiotherapist Steph Brennan as well as a £260,000 fine for the club.[29][30] The club chairman Charles Jillings subsequently tendered his resignation[31] while the club doctor Wendy Chapman was suspended by the General Medical Council for cutting Williams's lip to hide his use of the blood capsule.[32] On 2 September 2009, it was reported that the club had narrowly escaped being thrown out of the Heineken Cup following the scandal when the board of organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC) said it approved of the bans and fines already handed out.[33]

The affair was dubbed by many in the media "Bloodgate" with three proven incidents of the medical staff colluding with former director of rugby Dean Richards to abuse the blood-substitution rule. The rule was brought in to help with player welfare but was shown to have been abused by former policeman Richards, along with Dr Wendy Chapman, who was given an official warning by the Medical Council.[32]


Harlequins in action during the 2018–19 season.
Harlequins in action during the 2018–19 season.

The Harlequins kit is one of the most distinctive in the game, and remained largely unchanged for many years.[34] The kit has always featured a quartered shirt, typically consisting of chocolate brown, French grey, magenta and light blue with black and green sleeves, and most design changes have merely meant changes to the dimensions of the quarters, or the layout of the four main colours.

Following several Adidas home kit variations focused upon the four "Quins quarters" colours, the 2021–22 season home shirt sees a return to a more traditional design with the inclusion of green and black sleeves, whilst the 2020–22 away shirt in red and white features a stylised aerial representation of the London area and River Thames. In July 2022, The Harlequins announced that the club had signed a multi-year partnership deal with the British sportswear brand Castore ahead of the 2022-23 season. The partnership will see Castore both design and manufacture the men's and women's home kits, training and travel-wear in addition to the youth teams kit.[35]

Season summaries

League Season Domestic Cup European Cup
Season Competition Final Position Points Play-Offs Competition Performance Competition Performance
1987–88 Courage League Division 1 3rd 30 N/A John Player Cup Champions No competition N/A
1988–89 Courage League Division 1 8th 10 N/A Pilkington Cup Semi-final
1989–90 Courage League Division 1 7th 12 N/A Pilkington Cup 3rd round
1990–91 Courage League Division 1 3rd 16 N/A Pilkington Cup Champions
1991–92 Courage League Division 1 8th 11 N/A Pilkington Cup Runners-up
1992–93 Courage League Division 1 8th 11 N/A Pilkington Cup Runners-up
1993–94 Courage League Division 1 6th 16 N/A Pilkington Cup Semi-final
1994–95 Courage League Division 1 8th 13 N/A Pilkington Cup Semi-final
1995–96 Courage League Division 1 3rd 26 N/A Pilkington Cup Quarter-final No English teams N/A
1996–97 Courage League Division 1 3rd 30 N/A Pilkington Cup Semi-final Heineken Cup Quarter-final
1997–98 Allied Dunbar Premiership 10th 16 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup 4th round Heineken Cup Quarter-final
1998–99 Allied Dunbar Premiership 4th 33 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Quarter-final No English teams N/A
1999–00 Allied Dunbar Premiership 10th 18 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Quarter-final Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2000–01 Zurich Premiership 11th 38 N/A Tetley's Bitter Cup Runners-up Challenge Cup Champions
2001–02 Zurich Premiership 9th 35 N/A Powergen Cup Semi-final Heineken Cup 3rd in pool
2002–03 Zurich Premiership 7th 44 - Powergen Cup Quarter-final Challenge Cup 2nd round
2003–04 Zurich Premiership 6th 54 - Powergen Cup 6th round Challenge Cup Champions
2004–05 Zurich Premiership 12th (R) 38 - Powergen Cup 6th round Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2005–06 National Division One 1st (P) 121 N/A EDF Energy Trophy Champions Not qualified N/A
2006–07 Guinness Premiership 7th 51 - EDF Energy Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup 2nd in pool
2007–08 Guinness Premiership 6th 63 - EDF Energy Cup 4th in pool Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2008–09 Guinness Premiership 2nd 66 Semi-final EDF Energy Cup 3rd in pool Heineken Cup Quarter-final
2009–10 Guinness Premiership 8th 46 - LV= Cup 3rd in pool Heineken Cup 4th in pool
2010–11 Aviva Premiership 7th 52 - LV= Cup Semi-final Challenge Cup Champions
2011–12 Aviva Premiership 1st 75 Champions LV= Cup 2nd in pool Challenge Cup* Quarter-final*
2012–13 Aviva Premiership 3rd 69 Semi-final LV= Cup Champions Heineken Cup Quarter-final
2013–14 Aviva Premiership 4th 67 Semi-final LV= Cup 3rd in pool Challenge Cup* Semi-final*
2014–15 Aviva Premiership 8th 49 - LV= Cup 2nd in pool Champions Cup 3rd in pool
2015–16 Aviva Premiership 7th 55 - No competition N/A Challenge Cup Runners-up
2016–17 Aviva Premiership 6th 52 - Anglo-Welsh Cup Semi-final Challenge Cup 3rd in pool
2017–18 Aviva Premiership 10th 36 - Anglo-Welsh Cup 2nd in pool Champions Cup 4th in pool
2018–19 Gallagher Premiership 5th 56 - Premiership Cup 4th in pool Challenge Cup Semi-final
2019–20 Gallagher Premiership 6th 51 - Premiership Cup Runners-up Champions Cup 3rd in pool
2020–21 Gallagher Premiership 4th 71 Champions No competition N/A Challenge Cup* Round of 16
2021-22 Gallagher Premiership 3rd 80 Semi-final Premiership Cup 3rd in pool Champions Cup Round of 16

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runners-up
Pink background denotes relegated

* After dropping into the competition from the Champions Cup/Heineken Cup

Club honours

Major Honours


Friendly and Sevens

Current squad

For player movements before or during the 2022–23 season, see List of 2022–23 Premiership Rugby transfers § Harlequins.

The Harlequins squad for the 2022–23 season is:[38]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
George Head Hooker England England
Jack Musk Hooker England England
Sam Riley Hooker England England
Jack Walker Hooker England England
Fin Baxter Prop England England
Will Collier Prop England England
Jordan Els Prop South Africa South Africa
Santiago García Botta Prop Argentina Argentina
Simon Kerrod Prop South Africa South Africa
Wilco Louw Prop South Africa South Africa
Joe Marler Prop England England
George Hammond Lock England England
Irné Herbst Lock South Africa South Africa
Matas Jurevicius Lock England England
Dino Lamb Lock England England
Stephan Lewies Lock South Africa South Africa
Charlie Matthews Lock England England
James Chisholm Back row England England
Alex Dombrandt Back row England England
Will Evans Back row England England
Jack Kenningham Back row England England
Tom Lawday Back row England England
Viliami Taulani Back row Tonga Tonga
Luke Wallace Back row England England
Archie White Back row England England
Player Position Union
Danny Care Scrum-half England England
Lewis Gjaltema Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Jack Stafford Scrum-half Ireland Ireland
Scott Steele Scrum-half Scotland Scotland
Tommaso Allan Fly-half Italy Italy
Will Edwards Fly-half England England
Marcus Smith Fly-half England England
Lennox Anyanwu Centre England England
Oscar Beard Centre England England
André Esterhuizen Centre South Africa South Africa
Joe Marchant Centre England England
Luke Northmore Centre England England
Josh Bassett Wing England England
Ross Chisholm Wing England England
Nick David Wing England England
Louis Lynagh Wing England England
Cadan Murley Wing England England
Tyrone Green Fullback South Africa South Africa
Aaron Morris Fullback England England

Academy squad

The Harlequins academy squad is:[39]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Jack Doorey-Palmer Hooker England England
Nathan Jibulu Hooker England England
Caleb Ashworth Prop England England
Ethan Clarke Prop England England
Will Hobson Prop England England
Rhys Litterick Prop England England
Tom Osborne Prop Australia Australia
Harry Browne Lock England England
Tom Golder Lock Wales Wales
Jonny Green Lock Wales Wales
Makeen Alikhan Back row England England
Zach Carr Back row England England
Seb Driscoll Back row England England
Jonny Smith Back row England England
Will Trenholm Back row England England
Player Position Union
Charlie Clare Scrum-half England England
Jake Murray Scrum-half England England
Jamie Benson Fly-half England England
Bryn Bradley Centre Wales Wales
Hayden Hyde Centre Ireland Ireland
Ludo Kolade Centre England England
Ben Waghorn Centre England England
Cassius Cleaves Wing England England
Kitan Ojo Wing England England
Conor Oresanya Wing England England
Connor Slevin Fullback England England

Club staff

Rugby Department[40]

Role Name
Director of Rugby Performance Australia Billy Millard

First Team Coaching[40]

Role Name
Head Coach New Zealand Tabai Matson
Attack and Backs Coach New Zealand Nick Evans
Scrum Coach Wales Adam Jones
Lineout and Defence Coach Ireland Jerry Flannery
Kicking and Skills Coach England Charlie Mulchrone


Role Name
Academy Manager England Chim Gale
Academy Coach Development Manager England Gary Street
Academy Coach England Jim Evans
Academy Coach England Charlie Mulchrone
Academy Coach England Jordan Turner-Hall

Notable former players

See also: Category:Harlequin F.C. players

Lions Tourists

The following Harlequins players have been selected for the Lions tours while at the club:

Rugby World Cup

The following are players which have represented their countries at the Rugby World Cup whilst playing for Harlequins:

Tournament Players selected England players Other national team players
1987 2 Jamie Salmon, Marcus Rose
1991 7 Brian Moore, Jason Leonard, Paul Ackford, Michael Skinner,Peter Winterbottom, Will Carling (c), Simon Halliday
1995 4 Brian Moore, Jason Leonard, Will Carling (c) Jim Staples Ireland
1999 3 Jason Leonard Gareth Llewellyn Wales, Luke Gross United States
2003 4 Jason Leonard, Will Greenwood Schalk van der Merwe Namibia, Norman Ligairi Fiji
2007 4 Nick Easter, Andy Gomarsall Tani Fuga, Steven So'oialo Samoa
2011 3 Nick Easter Tomas Vallejos Argentina, Maurie Fa'asavalu Samoa
2015 8 Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick Easter, Danny Care, Mike Brown Netani Talei Fiji, Jamie Roberts Wales, Tim Visser Scotland
2019 7 Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler Michele Campagnaro Italy, Paul Lasike United States, Tevita Cavubati, Semi Kunatani, Vereniki Goneva Fiji

See also



  1. ^ "Harlequins Sponsorship". www.quins.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  2. ^ Paul Rees (21 May 2011). "Harlequins 19-18 Stade Français - Amlin Challenge Cup final report". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Tabai Matson appointed Head Coach". www.quins.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Heritage". Harlequins Official Website. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Harlequins launches 150th season and new kit". 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ Dallaglio, Lawrence (29 November 2009). Dallaglio's Rugby Tales. Headline. ISBN 9780755319855 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Adrian Dura Stoop".
  8. ^ Cleary, Mick (20 May 2011). "Harlequins 19 Stade Francais 18". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  9. ^ Rees, Paul (20 May 2011). "Harlequins 19 Stade Francais 18". Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  10. ^ Averis, Mike (12 May 2012). "Harlequins 25–23 Northampton". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ "AVIVA PREMIERSHIP - 2014-15". quins.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Ben Botica's boot helps Harlequins end 14-man Saracens' winning run". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  13. ^ "European Challenge Cup: Harlequins 34-26 Cardiff Blues". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Thank you, John Kingston". Harlequins Twitter page. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  15. ^ Spink, Alex (19 May 2019). "Harlequins hand Northampton play-off semi-final spot with last-gasp penalty miss". mirror. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  16. ^ Adam Williams (20 November 2020). "Exeter 33 - 3 Harlequins". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  17. ^ Ben Coles. "Eleven games that helped Harlequins lose their identity, then rediscover it". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Paul Gustard: Harlequins head of rugby leaves role by mutual consent". BBC Sport. 20 January 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Bristol 36-43 Harlequins: Quins produce remarkable fightback to reach Gallagher Premiership Final". Sky Sports. 19 June 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  20. ^ Brent Pilnick (26 June 2021). "Premiership final: Exeter Chiefs 38-40 Harlequins - Louis Lynagh's late double clinches title". BBC Sport.
  22. ^ "Stadium". quins.co.uk.
  23. ^ "Harlequins Foundation using high-profile rugby club to raise awareness of mental health". SWLondoner. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Quins + Movember in Mental Health Drive". Sport Industry Group. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Rugby club now licensed to deliver The Duke of Edinburgh's Award". Charity Today. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  26. ^ "History Of Harlequins | Sports Hospitality | Harlequins Rugby". Harlequins. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Wasps Vs Harlequins - The Rivalry | Ricoh Arena | Wasps". www.cbsarena.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Who Are Harlequins Rugby? A Quick History – Rugby Dome". Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  29. ^ AFP Quins escape further action in bloodgate scandal. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  30. ^ Harlequins have let down all of rugby, Chris Roycroft-Davis, The Times, 18 August 2009
  31. ^ Quins chairman falls on his sword over 'Bloodgate' The Independent, 29 August 2009
  32. ^ a b 'Bloodgate' doctor given a warning by GMC BBC News, 16 September 2009
  33. ^ "Harlequins avoid ban from Europe". BBC Sport. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  34. ^ Rees, Paul (31 July 2007). "Rugby union: No quarter given as Harlequins are forced into a change of shirt". The Guardian.
  35. ^ "HARLEQUINS SECURES NEW KIT DEAL". sportindustry.biz. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  36. ^ "Melrose Sevens". 7 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Kilmarnock Sevens". 7 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Current Players". Harlequins. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  39. ^ "Current Players". Harlequins. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  40. ^ a b c "Harlequins Coaching Staff". quins.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2021.