We continue our in-depth look at the teams in Pool A of the Heineken Champions Cup with a profile of Harlequins.

Heineken Champions Cup record

Harlequins have yet to get beyond the quarter-final stage in the competition, bowing out there four times – in 1997, 1998, 2009 and 2013.

Last season

Harlequins reached the Round of 16, where they were squeezed out 59-60 by Montpellier Hérault Rugby, just failing to come back from a 40-26 first-leg loss in France.

Head coach

Tabai Matson joined Harlequins ahead of the 2021-22 season, having been an assistant coach for three years with the Chiefs in New Zealand.

The 49-year-old New Zealand and Fijian international had begun his coaching career in Japan in 2005, before going on to coach in Australia and New Zealand, and then taking charge of the Fijian national team in 2015.

A stint as Bath Rugby head coach followed, before he returned to New Zealand to coach with the Chiefs in Super Rugby, with Fiji internationally and as the head coach of the All Blacks U20s.

Key players

Harlequins’ exhilarating style is highlighted by the number of star names in their back line, including England half-backs Danny Care and Marcus Smith, South Africa centre André Esterhuizen and Italian international Tommaso Allan.

However, they also boast some crucial cogs up front, namely England prop Joe Marler and No.8 Alex Dombrandt, Argentina prop Santiago García Botta and South Africa prop Wilco Louw.

Pool fixtures

Harlequins have drawn Cell C Sharks and Racing 92 this season. Their first match is a trip to Durban for a meeting with Cell C Sharks on December 10 and they finish their pool games against the South Africans at Twickenham Stoop on January 21.

In between, the Gallagher Premiership club have back-to-back games against Racing, first at home on December 18 before a trip to France on January 15.