Easter eggs on sevens star Ollie to star for Quins
England Sevens star Ollie Lindsay-Hague has a talent that even Harlequins’ academy boss Howard Graham admits he can’t really coach.
The 21-year-old winger is likely to be a key player in Quins’ JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens series, which gets under way at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday.
Although he is yet to break into the Aviva Premiership champions’ starting 15, Lindsay-Hague is certain to figure prominently when they face London Irish, London Wasps and Saracens in Pool A of the sevens at their Stoop home.
Graham admitted the youngster was working on transferring his sevens talent into the 15-a-side game, but he was looking forward to seeing him impress more in the shorter game once more.
“Ollie Lindsay-Hague has got a talent that you can’t really coach,” said Graham, himself a former England 7s captain.
“On the sevens pitch he just shines through because he has more space. Transferring that to the 15s is obviously his main goal for this season, but he is an exciting talent and with ball in hand with a broken field there are few people who are better.
“He is working hard on his strength and conditioning.
“It is up to him now to focus and take it forward. It is always difficult to get your nose into a winning side because people want to keep a silverware-winning side together. You have just got to wait for your chances and they will always come.”
Quins are likely to field a blend of youth and experience in the sevens series, with Graham hopeful that a number of his academy graduates will feature.
Quins star Nick Easter, who has 47 caps for England, insisted grooming the next generation in the annual top-flight 7s competition was a key ingredient in the club’s recent success story.
“The JP Morgan tournament is essential for Harlequins,” said Easter, who like many of his first-team colleagues plans to watch the opening leg of the competition at the Stoop.
“The sevens has always been a breeding ground for finding out people’s skill sets a lot more than the 15-a-side game – the proof is in the pudding.
“At Harlequins we have had some young guys come through who have shown their ways on the 7s circuit to the management and senior players in the squad as opposed to on the training ground where they are required to hold pads and work in the gym.
“I am not sure how selection will go for this year’s tournament but I am sure Ollie Lindsay-Hague could be there again – he has been very impressive indeed.”
The JP Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series kicks off on July 13 at Harlequins, with rounds at Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby, and the final at Bath Rugby. Visit jpmorgan7s.com.