Harlequins have brought in Gareth Southgate to help them stage an unlikely comeback in their Heineken Champions Cup tie against Montpellier. The England football manager was at Quins’ training ground this week as they prepare for the second leg of the last 16 on Saturday against the Top 14 leaders at Twickenham Stoop.
Montpellier have a 14-point lead from the first leg and with the aggregate home and away score deciding who progresses to the quarter-finals, the Gallagher Premiership champions must produce a special performance.
“Gareth sat down in our meetings and let us know what he was thinking. It was great to hear some of his thoughts,” assistant coach Adam Jones said. the two legs because the football teams would do much more than us the two legs format. I don’t want to reveal all the secrets because Montpellier may read that!
“He was a good, lovely guy. Probably not as big as I thought. He spoke very softly. He knew rugby and understood it. The impression we got was that he was there to learn from us as much as we needed to learn from him. It probably shows how far we’ve come as an organization.
Harlequins trailed 26-0 at half-time in the first leg, but the returning kings of English rugby mounted a trademark response to keep their hopes of further progress in the Champions Cup alive. “History has shown lately that we’re coming back to teams. It’s never over for us. Falling back to less than 14 points isn’t the end of the world,” Jones said.
“Montpellier said they needed 21 points against us and the fact that it’s 14 probably makes them sleep a little less easily. We know we can score quickly to get back in the game, but so can they. We’ll give it a try and look forward to the challenge of pulling off those 14 points.
“I was looking for famous comebacks on Google earlier because apart from Stephen Hendry beating Jimmy White in the 1992 World Snooker Championship Final, I can’t think of any!”
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