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Departing Sam Watkinson predicts bright future for Oxford Harlequins (Article by Jack Johnson: Oxford Mail)

2 months ago By Ron Macdonald

SAM Watkinson has tipped Oxford Harlequins to fight for promotion next season after bidding farewell to the club.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Marston Ferry Road-based side in 2015, is heading back to Yorkshire after securing a new job. Watkinson, who is employed as an insurance underwriter, returns to Leeds and will work in Manchester.

The fly-half leaves Quins sitting fourth in South West 1 East and was pleased to sign off with a home win against Stratford-upon-Avon last weekend. Watkinson, who is hopeful of potentially joining Harrogate, said: “It was a bit (emotional). “They’re a great bunch of players with serious potential. “I’ve not been able to play as much as I would’ve liked, but it’s been an absolute pleasure. “It’s nice to see them at the top end of the league and next season they can push for promotion. “It’s sad to leave a great bunch of guys and decent friends. “I’ll be following their results closely.”

Due to personal reasons, Watkinson was limited to eight appearances this season, but still contributed an impressive 100 points, including three tries.The fly half helped Quins go unbeaten at home in 2015/16, before playing an integral part in keeping them in the sixth tier of English rugby last season.

Watkinson has also played a role in preserving the club's 100 per cent winning record at Marston Ferry Road so far this campaign. Quins club captain Allan Purchase said: “He’s a phenomenal player and a better bloke. “Sam was a huge part of both the unbeaten home run of 2015/16 and the great escape of 2016/17. “One-hundred points for eight appearances this term shows his value on the pitch. “But it’s his value off it which will be missed the most at the club.”

Updated 20:14 - 8 Feb 2018 by Ron Macdonald

Where next?

Neil Hopper accepts the Growing Rugby Award The Oxfordshire RFU have recognised Quins’ effort in growing rugby in Oxfordshire
Oxford Harlequins Race Night 17th February 2018 We are holding our annual race night on Saturday 17th February, after our home game against Banbury at Marston Ferry Road.

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