Lindsay-Hague: Give me a chance, boss

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Ollie Lindsay-Hague is convinced success on the sevens stage this summer can be his ticket to the Harlequins first team and has put impressing director of rugby Conor O’Shea top of his agenda.

The 21-year-old, who has been capped at international Sevens level, played a starring role in Quins’ progress to the latter stages of last year’s JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens series, only to just miss out on a place in the final.

It certainly served the west Londoners well however, as shortly after the conclusion of the Sevens series, Harlequins went on a 10-game winning run at the start of the Premiership season.

But Hammersmith-born Lindsay-Hague was elsewhere at that time, furthering his development with Championship side Esher and has been limited to just two appearances from the bench for Quins in the LV= Cup this season.

And this time around, Lindsay-Hague is determined to show the Quins coaching staff exactly what he is capable of when the competition kicks off on July 13 at The Stoop.

“It’s a great starting point for the season. It’s hard work because obviously you haven’t done much, skills-wise, beforehand,” he said.

“It’s a great place to start and show what you are about to the coaches as well.

“It’s about playing well after pre-season, showing coaches what you are capable of doing.

“If you can do it on a sevens pitch you can do it on a 15s pitch. I guess it’s not as physical, but you can show your skills to the coaches and the fans.

“It is big because it’s on TV and you still treat it like you would a 15s game, everyone wants to win at the end of the day.”

Lindsay-Hague’s campaign with Esher has been restricted through injury this season, meaning he has had to watch on with the Surrey outfit struggling, but he is now relishing a return to the shorter form of the game.

And Lindsay-Hague admitted that should he fail to establish himself as a first-team regular with Quins, he may well turn to sevens on a full-time basis with the sport’s Olympic debut at Rio 2016 on the horizon.

“Playing Championship rugby is physical but it’s obviously not as quick,” added Lindsay-Hague, a former Hall School Wimbledon pupil.

“Sevens is in front of a massive crowd and you play against unbelievable players for New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa and you really test yourself because a lot of those players are in World Cup teams in 15s so you can really test yourself in both. It’s the best of both worlds.

“I think at Rio 2016 I’ll be about 25 or 26. If 15s isn’t working out it would be something I would definitely want to do.

“Going to the Olympics is incredible and to win a gold medal – that’s unbelievable.

“I have just come back from injury so I just want to get back for pre-season, I’ll make my plans and targets more then.”

The JP Morgan Premiership Rugby Sevens Series kicks off on 13 July at Harlequins, with rounds at Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby, and the final at Bath Rugby.

For more go to jpmorgan7s.com.

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