Matt Symons: ‘I was eligible to play for New Zealand but I am English’

The Harlequins lock is relishing playing against his former Wasps teammates in the Big Game

Rob Baxter summed up the dilemma of preparing a side to face Harlequins. “The trouble with facing teams who are patchy is that you do not know which patch you are going to hit,” Exeter’s head coach said a month ago. The Chiefs duly lost their unbeaten record at the Stoop a week after their hosts had been beaten at Worcester.

Quins followed up the victory over last season’s beaten Premiership finalists by succumbing to Leicester, a side that had gone into the game at Welford Road on an eight-match losing streak. It portrayed the patchiness Baxter referred to: victories over two of the current top three have been supplemented by defeats to two of the bottom three, suggesting a side boasting a number of England internationals past and present is most motivated when taking on the best.

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