Harlies boast new look

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 17/05/2012
Harlequins
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
NEW STRIP: Harlequins rugby teams are sporting a new strip, 15 years after being formed. Pictured from left is Eric Smith holding Phoenix, Craig Millar holding Jorga and Deon Miller in front.

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Fifteen years after forming, Harlequins have revitalised their playing strip.

The new quartered jerseys, an amore classic jersey, still pay tribute to the two clubs they amalgamated from in 1998, Zingari and Star.

Not only that, some of the originals from the championship winning side have contributed to a new generation of "Harlies".

Eric Smith's 4-year-old son is playing "rippa rugby" for the first year and loving it.

Senior captain Craig Miller's 10-year-old son Deon and 8-year-old daughter Jorga also play.

Unlike their father who plays No8, both young Millers play halfback and have shown plenty of potential.

Smith and Miller are both hoping the change of strip may prove lucky and they win the Hamersley Cup grand final after a couple of lean years by Harlequins standards.

The club got off to a perfect start, winning their first year up.

Two other winners from 1998, lock Grant McLaughlan and halfback Scott Norton, are still part of the senior side.

Five other titles followed but the last win was in 2008, something captain Miller is keen to correct.

"There is a good feeling in the team, it is really positive, so here's hoping."

Miller should know a bit about team morale as he has played 191 senior games for the club, only one behind his great mate Smith.

Both have missed only one season each since the club began and they could notch up their 200th together, in the first semi-final of the Hamersley Cup.

If so they will be the first in the history of the club to do so.

Prop Fainga'a Savieti also notched up his 100th game earlier this season, having earlier played for Pleasant Point and Celtic, showing the club is in good heart.

The 32-year-old Miller, who was sporting five stitches from a random knee at the weekend, joked it could be his last year if his skin couldn't hold together.

Flanker Smith, who has been Harlequins' stand-out player over the history of the club, said he would wait and see.

He, of course, will also join the South Canterbury centurions this season, which will be a magnificent effort. Smith would be the 12th player to do so in the union's 124-year history and the first since wing Stephen Todd in 2001.

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- The Timaru Herald

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