Aviva Premiership
Wallace hopes to step into Quins' back-row void
ESPNscrum Staff
July 14, 2011

Harlequins openside flanker Luke Wallace is hoping he will have the chance to show his worth in the 2011-12 Aviva Premiership season while his fellow teammates are at the World Cup.

The back-row forward, aged 20, made two starts and eight appearances in total for the Aviva Premiership outfit last season while also spending time on loan at Championship side Esher. Wallace's first chance to lay down a marker ahead of the upcoming season will come this Friday in the first round of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Sevens Series, which will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Wallace and co. will take on London Irish, Exeter and Bath at the Rec on Friday and the former Cottesmore School pupil is desperate to impress as he bids to prove his worth to the Quins hierarchy. "Pre-season has been going really well and now we've got our first real piece of competitive action. It doesn't matter whether it's sevens or the 15-man game it's all good preparation," said Wallace - who is helping to promote the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series 2011.

"Your overall fitness is really put to the test in sevens and having played in this competition last year when we hosted it at the Stoop I know just how competitive it is going to be. We as a team will be approaching each game playing to win; it's not just a fitness exercise we want to prove ourselves to the coaches.

"There's a good chance that Chris (Robshaw) and the rest of our first choice backrow will be away on international duty at the start of the season so I need to prove myself now. There are a number of us youngsters who are all there or thereabouts and in with a shout of cementing a first team spot. Friday is the first chance to do that."

While on loan at Esher last year Wallace admits he was really put to the test physically in a much more forward-dominated league. Having successfully avoided relegation via a play-off with the Surrey outfit the Crawley star is adamant he has what it takes to ply his trade at English rugby's top table.

"I learnt a lot in my time at Esher, I really had to build up my strength because it is such a physical test and that certainly made me a better all-round player," he added. "During our relegation battle I played in some really big fixtures and that can only be a good thing in terms of my development. And now I want to be in peak form for the start of the season so that if I can grab a starting spot then I need to do everything I can to make sure I don't lose it."

Tickets for every round of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series are available through Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling 0844 847 2492

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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