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Quins’ Danny Wilson believes past wins in France will aid side in Toulouse semi
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Quins’ Danny Wilson believes past wins in France will aid side in Toulouse semi

Harlequins will look to draw on their previous French success stories as they bid to reach their first Champions Cup final on Sunday, according to their head coach, Danny Wilson.

Wilson’s side travel to Toulouse for a daunting clash with the five-times champions but take confidence from having won in France twice this ­season. In December they edged past Racing 92, coming out 31-28 winners, while in the quarter-finals they sneaked past Bordeaux with a thrilling 42-41 victory.

Against Bordeaux, Harlequins were written off by almost everyone after the Top 14 side had so ruthlessly dispatched Saracens in the previous round but Wilson’s side scored six tries in a memorable win. Toulouse represent another step up but Wilson is adamant his side will stay true to their attacking instincts.

“We’ve talked a lot this week about winning in France this year, we won at Racing and we won in Bordeaux, in terms of drawing from those experiences, what it took to win those games and then adding to it,” he said. “Because that’s what it’ll take to win in ­Toulouse. We’re drawing on the experience but this is going to be a unique challenge.

“Our mindset is to go there and be the best versions of us. If we’re just trying to contain Toulouse we’re going to come unstuck. We’ve got to put our identity on this game. We’ve got to score tries to win this game, we’re not going to go three points, six points, nine points, that’s not going to happen. We’re going there to score tries because to beat Toulouse you’re going to have to score a fair few.”

Harlequins hosted Toulouse in the pool stages, a week after downing Racing, but were comfortably beaten 47-19 with the France scrum-half Antoine Dupont pulling the strings.

“We got a few things wrong in that game and they are a very, very good side,” added Wilson. “They’ve got some superstars in there who shone that night. Definitely some learnings from that but a lot of rugby has happened since then.

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“We’ve talked about [Dupont] along with a number of other players. He’s an unbelievable rugby player, a world-class rugby player and a threat. He’s somebody we’re certainly aware of and have a fair amount of respect for what he can do. Under the right tactical game plan you can also use that to your advantage.”

Source: theguardian.com