Rugby - Kingston: We'll take nothing for granted

Harlequins head coach John Kingston insists the defending Aviva Premiership champions will be taking nothing for granted when they face London Irish at Twickenham on Saturday.

The now traditional Christmas fixture at the home of English rugby is set to attract another sell-out crowd as Quins look to retain their advantage at the top of the table. The Exiles, meanwhile, have won just one of their last nine games in all competitions, and languish 11th in the table with only Sale below them.

Quins, who are unchanged from their win over Northampton, will start as overwhelming favourites, but Kingston and company are not taking Irish lightly. He told the club's official website: "We treat them the same as everyone we play, we don't judge or treat sides differently just because they have won or lost more games, we have to make sure we have everything we want in place."

He added: "It's not about reflecting on how things are going for them or not going for them. They should have beaten us at the Madejski six weeks ago and they will know that. Expectation is a very dangerous thing."

And Kingston says everyone at Quins is eagerly awaiting another outing in one of the domestic season's biggest occasions.

"We are also aware it is a fantastic occasion and it is really exciting and I would be lying if I said playing there at Christmas time is not a great occasion to be involved in, I am sure the atmosphere will be fantastic again," he said.

"We have had some great moments at Twickenham over the last few years and hopefully it will be a cracking occasion and lets hope the match lives up to it, it won't be for want of trying."

Exeter will look to get their top-four push back on track when they host Bath at Sandy Park, with the visitors reeling after their 22-0 hiding at the hands of Saracens last weekend.

And Chiefs coach Rob Baxter hopes a sell-out crowd can help his side record their first win over their West Country rivals.

He said: "It should be a great occasion, it's been a sell-out for quite a while now. These local Christmas derbies are the best atmospheres of the season - not only are they big crowds but people are there to celebrate and have a good time."