GUTTED: Marcus Smith has been ruled out of big Game 13 - Ruck

GUTTED: Marcus Smith has been ruled out of big Game 13

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith and backrow James Chisholm both tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test earlier this week.

Due to health and welfare regulations all players must observe a clear graded return to match intensity fitness following a positive COVID-19 result before returning to match action.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time for either player to pass through these protocols before Big Game 13, and are therefore unavailable for selection for this fixture. Both are expected fit for the Club’s Gallagher Premiership fixture away to Gloucester on January 2.

Further to this, Harlequins have one team change to the side that will play Big Game 13, with Tongan international Viliami Taulani replacing Dino Lamb in the 20 jersey.

Harlequins Starting XV
1. Joe Marler
2. Jack Walker
3. Will Collier
4. Matt Symons
5. Stephan Lewies – Captain
6. Tom Lawday
7. Jack Kenningham
8. Alex Dombrandt
9. Danny Care
10. Will Edwards
11. Cadan Murley
12. Andre Esterhuizen
13. Joe Marchant
14. Louis Lynagh
15. Tyrone Green

Impact Players
16. Jack Musk
17. Santiago Garcia Botta
18. Simon Kerrod
19. Hugh Tizard
20. Viliami Taulani
21. Lewis Gjaltema
22. Luke Northmore
23. Huw Jones

Joe Marler’s ‘five-point plan’ to save rugby

You can read Marler’s full brilliant manifesto by clicking here.


Marler said: The first thing I would do is ban the f***ing caterpillar ruck,’ he says. ‘It kills me. The whole thing is an a***. I would go as far as saying I’d ban box kicks but I might start to sound like Clive Woodward.

‘I want to see referees sanction the scrum-half for not using it when they shout “Use it”. I also want to get rid of the rule where the defence get the ball back if they hold you up and create a maul in the tackle.’