Disciplinary failures plague Harlequins as Joe Marler’s ban overshadows Marcus Smith news ahead of Wasps clash

The glass half-full brigade among Harlequins fans will laud another day of European Champions Cup rugby against former London rivals Wasps at the Stoop on Saturday while celebrating securing the services of English rugby’s most exciting young talent.

The glass half-empty brigade will bemoan their team’s latest premature European exit, grind their teeth at their woeful Premiership form and roll their eyes at Joe Marler’s latest on-field brain freeze.

Let’s take the positives first. The Stoop will be buzzing on Saturday, admittedly in no small part down to it being a must-win game for Dai Young’s Wasps, who still retain skin in this particular European game, as two of English rugby’s oldest rivals slug it out for the third time in all competitions this season.

Harlequins vs Wasps is rarely a dull affair and too much water has passed under the bridge between the clubs to ever countenance the notion of a dead rubber.

Wasps captain Joe Launchbury alluded to as much this week. It will be fierce, committed and, weather permitting, played between two sides whose default positions is to put the ball through the hands.

With one win apiece so far this season, it appears an even contest. The glass half-full brigade must believe so, at least.

In 18-year-old Marcus Smith – who this week signed a five-year deal worth in excess of £1m to stay at the Stoop – Quins have a player with the potential to become England’s go-to fly half for a decade or more.  

In Danny Cipriani, Smith will be going head-to-head with another teenage prodigy on Saturday whose future is once again up in the air following this week’s announcement that 26-year-old All Black No 10 Lima Sopoaga will be joining the Coventry-based club next season.

Smith at least, knows he is wanted. His glass is overflowing.

Lima Sopoaga will join Wasps next season (Getty)

But while the optimists toast the long-term acquisition of their teenage sensation and bask in the glory of an…

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