4:47pm Friday 20th July 2012
Quins attack coach Mark Mapletoft might get bored of him saying it, but winger Seb Stegmann has insisted he is ready to step up from bit part player to first team contender.
The 23-year-old made eight league appearances for the Premiership champions last season, scoring a double at home to Newcastle in November, having endured two seasons of frustration following
a career-threatening cruciate injury.
Stegmann was in action for Harlequins in the opening leg of the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby Sevens Series at the Stoop on Friday.
And, while Quins failed to qualify for the finals in Bath in three weeks’ time, Stegmann reckoned his displays show he is ready to stake a claim to a regular place in the champions’ starting
“I always tell coaches that my pace is coming back now every time we do a speed session,” he said.
“Every week it’s improving especially after two years out and not doing any running. The most running I did was on an assisted treadmill with my weight off.
“From being there to now sprinting flat out and trying to get the milliseconds down off my speed times is great.
“And it’s definitely improving and in games I feel sharper. Now it’s all about practice because I want to get into the Quins starting lineup and become a regular.”
Mapletoft signed a two-year contract extension this week to remain part of director of rugby Conor O’Shea’s backroom team until 2015.
And there is no doubt he will be tracking Stegmann’s progress after his contribution proved vital for Quins in an opening success against London Irish last week, playing a major role in the
build-up of tries for Ross Chisholm and Ben Botica.
“The sevens is the first time you can show your skills to your team-mates and to any coaches that are watching, so you’re always a bit nervous,” he added.
“We threw it about a bit but unfortunately we didn’t get through. But I’m happy just to be out playing sevens and feeling quick after the injuries I’ve had.”
For tickets to the JP Morgan Premiership Sevens Series finals at Bath visit the website jpmorgan7s.com.
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