O'Shea calls on Quins to improve
July 4, 2012
Conor O'Shea insists his side can improve despite being Premiership champions © Getty Images
Conor O'Shea has called on his side to improve next season despite guiding Harlequins to Aviva Premiership glory last term.
O'Shea's men start their season against London Wasps at Twickenham in the double header on September 1 and with the league title to their name, they will be the team to beat in 2012-13. While they lifted the Premiership title, Harlequins failed to get out of their group in the Heineken Cup and O'Shea wants to change that this time around.
"We won the Premiership which was great last year but we can still improve," O'Shea told ESPN. "We didn't hit our goals and KPIs last year. We were second in tries scored last year and fourth in tries conceded. The players want to be the best in everything they do. Discipline wise, we were tenth in terms of penalties conceded so there's loads of room for improvement and that's just on the headline things. It may not lead to immediate success but it will make us tougher to beat and that's always the aim.
"You look around the Premiership at some of the signings and the change in coaching staff so our aim is to do ourselves justice.
"This time set out to be the best in Europe and we're nowhere near that yet. First of all you have to be the best in your own country and we achieved that last year but we must now kick on in both defence and attack consistently across the board whether it's offloads or the method of tackling. There's a massive will in this team to do that."
O'Shea has opted against significantly bolstering his current crop of players as he looks to continuity rather than galacticos in a bid to secure the Heineken Cup alongside the important back-to-back titles.
"People ask why we haven't recruited 'stellar' names but we already have some fantastic players at this club," O'Shea said. "We have the England skipper, a host of internationals, Nick Evans and a group of players who are all trying to break in the side. We do a good job keeping that crop together and within the limits of the salary cap.
"Some of the guys could go off and get more money elsewhere, but they've bought into what we're trying to do at Quins and that is a huge bonus. So yes we won't be making huge signings, but that is because we already have them at the club."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship
When the Great War broke out, rugby in Australia and New Zealand initially soldiered on. Rewind looks back