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Dublin: -1 °C Saturday 18 January, 2020

He led Quins to a first title yesterday and now Conor O'Shea wants more

‘This has to be a start’ said the RTÉ pundit after Harlequins’ first Premiership crown.

Conor O'Shea: not resting on his laurels.
Conor O'Shea: not resting on his laurels.
Image: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

HARLEQUINS DIRECTOR OF rugby Conor O’Shea was already looking forward after his team defeated Leicester 30-23 to win the Aviva Premiership yesterday.

Tries from Tom Williams and England captain Chris Robshaw, together with 20 points from the boot of Nick Evans, proved the difference between the competition’s top two teams in the final at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

It was the first English championship victory in Harlequins’ 146-year history, but O’Shea has no intention of letting the playing group bask in the glory of their achievement for long.

“There were 10 years of ducking and diving to get the club to where it is, and we still have a long way to go,” O’Shea said.

“This can only be a start. That’s all it is. It’s a great day, we’ll enjoy it for what it is, but then 24 June we’ll be back into pre-season and hopefully another week 48 will happen next year.”

“This (the victory) will be parked after a night of enjoyment and it’ll be a question of how we can improve, because good teams win, great teams kick on and this group of players, because of the type of person Robbo is (Chris Robshaw) won’t be allowed to rest on their laurels.”

O’Shea’s opposite number, Leicester director Richard Cockerill, struggled to hide his disappointment after seeing his team fall at the final hurdle.

“We came here to win,” Cockerill said. ”This isn’t a learning experience for us, we came here to win. We didn’t, that’s disappointing, but that’s sport. Somebody’s got to lose. And it’s us. Again.

“We’re in the final with Quins, on the day, there weren’t any favourites, it was who played best. They’ve been top of the league for most of the season. They played well today. They built their pressure and got rewarded in points … so in the end they probably deserved to win.”

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