I was initially excited by last night’s visit to the atmospheric Kingsholm until I realised how many Quins players would be absent on World Cup duty: Joe Marler, Jack Walker, Joe Marchant, Marcus Smith, Danny Care, Andre Esterhuizen, Tommaso Allan and Gloucester could not call on wingers Johnny May nor Rees-Zammit.
There were some consolations. Joe Launchbury was finally back from Japan. Now 32 he started his career at Quins 13 years ago and is still a more than capable scrummager and mauler. Two stars of the 2021 Championship-winning team – Tyrone Green and Louis Lynagh – were also available after long injury lay-offs.
Quins got off to their normal sluggish start and at one stage were 22-0 down. They did stage a recovery to get within 8 points but that was not enough.
It will be interesting to see how Marcus Smith fares against Chile today in his first ever game at full back.
Chile are the whipping boys of Pool D and I expect a massive victory.
All eyes will be on one of the big clashes to date – South Africa v Ireland – whilst Australia simply have to beat Wales tomorrow.
Ireland will do the tournament a favour if they beat the boring Boks but if they do South Africa are likeliest to meet England in the semi finals.