PAUL GUSTARD has was the tinkerman as he seems to repair Harlequins’ dreaded away document.
The homesick Londoners make the 300 mile journey to rock-bottom Newcastle Falcons at present, in search of simply their second win on the highway in 15 makes an attempt.
So ex-England defence guru Gustard has ripped up the Quins playbook – altering issues from what they eat, to what they put on, once they journey and even who would possibly play.
Gustard stated: “How can I repair our away document?
“I’m making an attempt various things. . . the place we do conferences, how we do them, what we eat, after we journey, can we go the evening earlier than, what can we put on, who does the group discuss, do we now have a group assembly, can we present a video. . . no matter.
“We’re doing the assembly in a different way – usually we now have a gathering with the whole squad. We’ll change how we practice on Friday and who trains.
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“We will have a meeting in the changing room at The Stoop, so it feels different for the players and it will be player-led, which we haven’t done in the last couple of weeks.
“If we change five things and get the result, how do we know which of them worked?
“We are looking at any little thing we are trying to do different and how we theme the week. All that kind of stuff.
“But I also looked back at the table and we have the fourth most wins in the competition. So we are where we are on merit.
“We are not there because of other teams not doing well.
“We have also been the most resilient side, which is why we have the most bonus points.
“We are there by virtue and by right. The away record across the competition is low, apart from two teams.
“I talk about our bad away record, because I believe we can change it and we are too good a team not to win more games on the road. But we have to solve it ourselves.”
Gustard has also made two changes to the starting XV that beat Wasps at Twickenham last time out – having crunched the numbers and stats on who can hack it outside of London, dropping no.8 James Chisholm and winger Cadan Murley.
After analysing the data, Gustard said: “There are a couple who are not in consideration for selection who’s differences would be more noticeable.
“It is in its infancy and I am not sure yet whether it is right or wrong, but it is in my thinking.
“You also have to weigh up what your eyes are telling you when you watch them train, but I also need something I can hang my hat on and say: ‘Boys, this is going to give us the best chance to win this week’.
“We have analysed peoples’ individual performances home and away.
“Who are our best away performers, in terms of how you carry, how accurate you are at the breakdown, how successful your tackle percentage is?
“I want to know which team will give me the best chance of winning away.
“I am looking at as many things as I can to try and find a solution to help us win more games.”
Stalwart Mike Brown makes his record-breaking 308th Quins appearance to become the club’s most-capped player.
And the Falcons’ own ultimate club man, Mark Wilson, believes they can beat the drop after penning a new four-year deal at Kingston Park.
The England no.8 added: “We had a fantastic season last time round, and while this season has been disappointing I’m determined to help play a big part in getting us back up to where we know we can be.
“I’ve got absolute faith that we will turn things round this season in what is an incredibly tight league, and it will just take a win or two to get that confidence flowing again.
“We’re working hard in every department and I fully believe we have it in us to push back up the Premiership table, and Kingston Park is definitely where I want to be.”