Ward insists he is enjoying the challenge at Harlequins

Despite finding his first-team chances limited since joining Harlequins, Dave Ward insists being part of a successful club is proving as enjoyable as he imagined it would be when arriving at The Stoop last summer.

Ward hopes to feature from the start when the Aviva Premiership champions host London Welsh in the LV= Cup on Saturday, having made just three appearances for the club in all competitions so far.

The hooker admits he knew it would be a difficult ask to force his way into director of rugby Conor O’Shea’s starting XV having signed from Championship outfit Cornish Pirates.

But he is adamant he continues to relish the challenge of providing competition for the likes of Rob Buchanan and Joe Gray – Quins’ regular performers at hooker.

“The two guys in front of me are both quality players and performing really well,” said 27-year-old Ward.

“Joe Gray and Rob Buchanan have both been called up to the England Saxons squad so it shows how well they are playing.

“At Quins you have to be ready to play when called upon and that is what I am trying to do, making sure I am ready when the team needs me.

“The competition for places is tough. It is fair to say there isn’t a lot between all of us and we all have certain strengths and weaknesses.

“It is all about patience for me and when getting an opportunity trying to show little bits of my game that maybe those in the team aren’t so good at.

“I know I have got to up my game and hopefully I will get that chance on Saturday.

“It is a brilliant environment at Harlequins and it is so professionally run. It is an exciting place to be and it makes you happy to come in everyday and play your rugby.”

It is set up to be another exciting climax to the season for the Quins, as they once again lead the Aviva Premiership table.

Having won all six of their pool-stage matches, O’Shea’s men have also been handed a home draw in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals against Munster. And in the LV= Cup it is two wins from two so far.

“We still have a lot to play for so it is exciting to be around the club at the moment,” said Ward.

“It’s a good draw for us to get Munster at home. We aren’t looking beyond that at the moment because Munster are proven champions.

“It is massive that we will be at home. When the Stoop is packed there is an unbelievable noise and hopefully we can use it to our advantage.”

The LV= Cup. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and info, visit www.lv.com/rugby



Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook