Buchanan: There is no rest for Quins jet set
Quins hooker Rob Buchanan is usually in a rush to book his post-season holiday, but in 2013 plans are on hold for more reasons than one.
The 21-year-old had an early introduction to last Friday’s 13-9 England Saxons defeat to Scotland A as he replaced concussed Quins team mate Joe Gray 10 minutes in to proceedings.
It was his second appearance for the international second string having been drafted in for last month’s 14-10 win over Ireland Wolfhands in Galway.
Buchanan is now firmly on the radar for a place in head coach Stuart Lancaster’s touring party to Argentina this summer, given a host of senior England players should be in line for British Lions call-up.
With Quins reaching the Heineken Cup quarter finals and riding high in the Premiership once more, director of rugby Conor O’Shea’s men are targeting a busy month of May.
And Hong Kong-born Buchanan, who enjoyed a three- week blast in Thailand after lifting the Premiership trophy in 2012, is aware he might be booking this year’s trip via lastminute.com.
“It was a massive surprise to to get called up because there are lots of quality hookers around in the Premiership,” he said.
“I got on early against Scotland and I loved every minute of it. It was a big challenge and it was something that took me right out of my comfort zone.
“You can never arrange a holiday too early because there are two competitions to play for in May and we are in a great place in both.
“I am sure if I keep working hard, then, hopefully, I’ll get a place on a tour.”
Success has come relatively quickly for Buchanan, having made his senior debut at Leicester Tigers in 2010 before landing his first top flight start against Saracens at Wembley stadium in 2012.
And the England U20 international has been a virtual every present in the Quins matchday squad this term, making 18 appearances and scoring two Heineken Cup tries in the process.
“I didn’t think I’d be playing this much at this age when I first joined the club from school,” he added.
“But that is what makes this such a great club. Everyone gets a chance. There are many clubs where the academy players don’t actually play that much rugby.”
While England prepare to face Ireland on Sunday, Quins host old rivals London Wasps on Saturday.
“These games during the Six Nations may not be as high profile, but they are still huge games for us,” added Buchanan.
Meanwhile, Tom Guest has been rewarded for his recent good form in the LV= Cup and Heinkene Cup to retain his number six starting shirt for Saturday's visit of London Wasps.
George Lowe, Ugo Monye, Joe Gray and George Robson all start on their return from international duty, while fellow Saxons Buchanan and Jordan Turner-Hall must be satisfied with a place on the bench.
Harlequins team to face Wasps: 15. Ross Chisholm, 14. Tom Williams, 13. George Lowe, 12. Matt Hopper, 11. Ugo Monye, 10. Nick Evans, 9. Karl Dickson; 1. Mark Lambert, 2. Joe Gray, 3. James Johnston, 4. Charlie Matthews, 5. George Robson, 6. Tom Guest, 7. Luke Wallace, 8. Nick Easter (C).
Replacements; 16. Rob Buchanan, 17. Darryl Marfo, 18. Will Collier, 19. Sam Twomey, 20. Maurie Fa’asavalu, 21. Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 22. Rory Clegg, 23. Jordan Turner-Hall.