Robshaw and Marler return to bolster Harlequins for Sale clash

05 October 2017 01:54

England forwards Chris Robshaw and Joe Marler have overcome injury to reinforce stricken Harlequins in time for their Aviva Premiership clash with Sale.

Quins had a staggering 25 players ruled out of last weekend's defeat at Northampton but are able to pick the returning Robshaw, Marler, James Horwill and Will Collier in their starting XV at Twickenham Stoop on Friday night.

Robshaw and Horwill have recovered from concussion, Marler has been passed fit following a rib problem and Collier has shrugged off a back complaint.

Kyle Sinckler begins his seven-week ban for gouging, however, and Mike Brown is still out with an ankle injury, although the England full-back is expected to be available next weekend.

"The league is getting more and more competitive, combative and physical," Quins director of rugby John Kingston said.

"People are taking bigger hits and there are bigger collisions happening all of the time. It's become very difficult and injuries are inevitable.

"The number of collisions has gone up 15 per cent on last season, but then it's generally been pretty dry so you get more rugby played at this time of year."

Sale have lost England flanker Tom Curry to a wrist injury for two weeks, so his brother Ben continues at openside.

The Sharks thumped Gloucester 57-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium in round five and director of rugby Steve Diamond is searching for greater success outside Manchester.

"We don't want to get too carried away - we've hit a bit of form at home but most people would expect us to do that," Diamond said.

"We've got a good enough squad to challenge some teams away from home, not withstanding the fact that they've got one or two injuries, so we need to go down there and be competitive.

"To be pushing for the top six and challenging, you've got to be picking three wins up on the road over the season and win your home games."

Source: PA