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London Irish 16:30 Harlequins

Matt Hopper insists Harlequins know they cannot afford to relax

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 27/02/13 1:23pm

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In-form centre Matt Hopper insists Harlequins are refusing to look too far ahead despite remaining on course for the treble.

The defending Aviva Premiership champions are currently top of the standings, while they have an LV= Cup semi-final clash with Bath and a Heineken Cup last-eight encounter against Munster fast approaching on the horizon.

However the Quins are sticking to the oldest of sporting cliches by taking one game at a time in their hunt for silverware.

And first on the checklist is to avenge their 42-28 defeat to Exeter in October when the Chiefs head to the Stoop on Saturday.

Hopper told Sky Sports: "These months are vital and where you have to put the hard work in. We have some big games coming up but we have won nothing yet.

"We are in a good position to still be challenging in three competitions but we can't afford to relax as we are into the business end of the season.

"We have to focus on each game as it comes along starting with trying to avenge our defeat against Exeter in September."

Exeter is a side Hopper knows well, with the 28-year-old having played for the junior sides there while his dad is also a former captain.

"Being from that neck of the woods and having played in the juniors there it is a side I know pretty well," said Hopper. "I am looking forward to playing them."

Battling

Hopper went on to play for Manly, Plymouth and the Cornish Pirates before joining Harlequins in 2011.

"We have to focus on each game as it comes along starting with trying to avenge our defeat against Exeter in September."
Matt Hopper

He has gone on to make 40 appearances for the club in that time, with his form earning him England Saxons honours.

However despite becoming the heartbeat of the Quins back division - with 24 of his appearances coming this season - Hopper is not thinking about making the next step up.

"It is hard enough to get in the side at Quins as the competition for the centres is so strong," added Hopper.

"Myself and George Lowe are battling it out for the No 13 jersey so my hands are full with just making sure I am playing well here. My goal is just to keep playing as well as I can."

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