TOMMY Allan has been tasked with filling the boots of Marcus Smith for the opening two games of the season while the young England and Lions sensation continues to recover from his summer exerts in the southern hemisphere.
Italy fly-half Allan, who has amassed 327 points from 61 Azzurri caps, was snapped up by the ambitious Londoners from Treviso to bolster their bid to retain the title and challenge for the Champions Cup.
Having impressed in preseason, the 28-year-old made his Premiership debut at Newcastle on Sunday and will keep the No.10 jersey for the home clash with Worcester for Round 2.
Allan hopes to direct Quins’ attacking orchestra in the same positive and energetic, but also controlled manner, which was Smith’s trademark during last season’s memorable title victory.
But he has been around long enough, and travelled plenty, to realise there are many ways to succeed – and feels it is important to keep open minded when it comes to getting the job done on the field.
He said: “The Springboks are world champions for a reason. They play a certain style because it is their mentality to win that way, and it has worked very well for them with the World Cup triumph and beating the Lions. Some people say how boring it is but they have optimised their strengths.
“It may be a boring way of playing but if it gets them trophies then they will be happy.
“It’s not that much of a spectacle to be fair but the last Test was a more enjoyable game.
“Quins have been playing a completely opposite style and I’m happy I will be playing this kind of rugby rather than the Springboks style. It is rugby played with freedom where you can express yourselves on the field.
“But at the same time you have to learn to adapt to different conditions and opposition. Sometimes you may have to change the game plan when things are not going so well.
“Playing the Quins way puts a lot of emphasis on fitness. You need to be able to cope with the pace and physicality. Fortunately, I’m pretty fit and coming here will only make me fitter and better.” If you’re looking for new casino games to play click here.
Head coach Tabai Matson has little doubt Allan will thrive.
He says: “He is so experienced and skilful, it’s just slotting into a different system. He is an intelligent, international No.10 with a great rugby brain. He will feel really confident because he has a great team around him who are very clear on how they want to play.”
■By GARY FITZGERALD