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Three-time winners of the Challenge Cup, Harlequins, return to the competition to face French outfit, Agen, at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (15:00 BST) in a Pool 5 fixture.
- Harlequins and Agen have never met before, and Agen will be the 19th French club that Quins have faced in Europe.
- Harlequins have won nine of their 10 home games against Top 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup, only losing to Stade Francais Paris (0-26) back in December 2002.
- Agen have lost 11 of their last 12 games in the Challenge Cup, those losses coming by an average margin of 21 points.
- Agen recorded a scrum success rate of just 85% last season, the poorest rate of any side in the Challenge Cup.
- Ross Chisholm has scored six tries in just seven European starts for Harlequins, including five in five starts in the Challenge Cup.
🃏 @renaldobothma has been in front of the camera this week, as he reflects on his start to the season and looks ahead to our upcoming @ERChallengeCup campaign
📽 Hear from him later this evening #COYQ #HARvAGN pic.twitter.com/5ROVzIwY0v
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) October 11, 2018
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Harlequins made a sensational start to their bid for a record fourth European Rugby Challenge Cup with a comprehensive, eight-try 54-22 win over Agen in Pool 5 at The Stoop on Saturday.
The English club had won nine of their 10 previous home games against TOP 14 opposition in the competition and they were soon on their way to a 10th success in the first meeting between the clubs.
England full-back Mike Brown opened the scoring with a 13th minute try and Quins chalked up two more tries in the first half via scrum-half Charlie Mulchrone and flanker Semi Kunatani, all of which were converted by fly-half Marcus Smith as they opened up a 21-8 lead.
Agen had reduced the deficit four minutes before break with a try from full-back Loris Tolot, but they were soon heading for their 12th defeat in 13 Challenge Cup ties, with wing Nathan Earle grabbing the bonus-point try and lock George Merrick adding Harlequins’ fifth, which was goaled by Smith.
Although wing Fouad Yaha cut Quins’ lead again with Agen’s second try, a 61st minute penalty try, a score from centre Joe Marchant and a second from Kunatani, the last two of which were converted by Demetri Catrakilis, completed the rout.
🗣 "Across the board we've got enough depth so people can step in and do the job required and it was great that all the boys stepped up today"
📽 Man of the match @CJMulchrone following today's win over Agen #COYQ #HARvAGN pic.twitter.com/6DZCUoQwYB
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) October 13, 2018
Quins now visit Grenoble next Saturday, while Agen are at home to Benetton Rugby.
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