It is top six or bust for Harlequins this season according to Tim Visser and the free-scoring winger is adamant achieving their goal would be no less than the squad deserves.
Harlequins find themselves seventh in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with just two games to go although they are within striking distance of the teams above them – two points behind sixth-placed Northampton Saints and just three off Sale Sharks in fifth.
Finishing higher in the table than they currently lie is vital with the top six teams earning a place at Europe’s top table in next season’s Champions Cup, with Quins having qualified for the European Rugby Challenge Cup final on Friday night with a 30-6 victory over Grenoble.
Last season was the only time in the last four years that Quins ended the campaign lower than sixth and while Visser – who has nine league tries to his name this term – knows they have no God-given right to qualify, he insists the quality their squad has means they should be able to crack the upper reaches of the league.
“The importance of a top-six finish is massive,” said Visser, who was speaking in support of the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme.
“As a team we have big aspirations and one of those is of course to be playing Champions Cup rugby next season.
“It’s vital for the club to get that top-six finish; having aimed for the top four for such a long time and then slipping away after January was very disappointing as we felt we still had a lot to fight for this season. Top six is a big part of that.
“We’ve deserved it based on the talent and the quality we’ve got within the squad. We should be able to get that high finish – that’s where we see ourselves and where our fans see us too I think.”
Aviva Tackling Numbers, in partnership with Premiership Rugby, is an innovative programme for 7-9 year olds which makes learning about numbers and financial education fun and engaging.
Through the programme, which is delivered by the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs, 64,000 children have been introduced to maths and numbers outside of the regular classroom environment.
Quins face a trip to bottom-of-the-table London Irish before hosting high-flying Exeter Chiefs on the season’s final day and Visser is convinced those sides will pose incredibly tough tests.
“It is a tricky one for us. We can only really concentrate on ourselves but that top six is incredibly tight and we have to fight for every last point,” added the Scotland international.
“Some teams have an easier run-in than others I suppose and maybe we are slightly unfortunate that we are playing two of the most dangerous teams in the Premiership, even if they are in completely different positions in the table.”
Tim Visser was speaking at an Aviva Tackling Numbers session. In partnership with Premiership Rugby, #AvivaTacklingNumbers helps 7-9 year olds put foundations in place for better financial skills later in life through the power of rugby.
Take a maths test at aviva.co.uk/tacklingnumbers for the chance to win Aviva Premiership Rugby Final tickets.