Evans: Quins will never erase 'Bloodgate' stain

Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans admits the club will never be able to erase the stain of 'Bloodgate'.

Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans admits the club will never be able to erase the stain of 'Bloodgate'.

The fake blood scandal is back in the headlines as Dr Wendy Chapman faces a General Medical Council hearing over her role in the incident.

Evans said the club have “a great deal of sympathy” for Dr Chapman, who this week revealed her shame at succumbing to “huge pressure” and deliberately cutting the lip of Tom Williams.

The Harlequins wing had used the blood capsule to fabricate an injury on the field and was anxious for Dr Chapman to make the cut in order to hide the deception from suspicious Leinster medics.

The scandal rocked rugby to the core and Evans conceded: “It is part of the club’s history. It will always be there.”

Harlequins struggled to handle the fall-out from 'Bloodgate' last season – with the punishments including a three-year ban for then director of rugby Dean Richards – and they failed to qualify for the Heineken Cup.

But new captain Chris Robshaw is convinced that under the guidance of new director of rugby Conor O’Shea, Quins are back moving in the right direction.

“When Deano left, we lost the belief we had in the squad, that passion and edge we had,” said Robshaw.

“This time last year we said it wouldn’t affect us but subconsciously it probably did. It is all behind us now and we are looking forward to going into a new campaign.

“Conor has come in as director of rugby and done a great job and instilled that belief back in the squad. There is a great buzz around the squad and we just can’t wait to get going.”

The club have moved to an impressive new training facility and O’Shea has promised some fireworks at The Stoop this season, confident the new breakdown interpretations will suit Harlequins’ attacking style.

“When the interpretations changed at the end of last season we scored 17 tries in four games,” said O’Shea.

“We want to play rugby and the laws will allow us to. If we get our defence and attitude right we will score tries.

“We have shown we are built to play and the law interpretations will allow us to take that to a new level.

“Quins will play an exciting brand of rugby. Supporting Quins will be a good place to be this year.”

Harlequins were boosted further last night when England scrum-half Danny Care extended his contract through to the summer of 2013.

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