Cadan Murley and international rugby will be a match made in heaven, believes former Scotland and Harlequins star Tim Visser.
Flying winger Murley, 23, was recently selected in Eddie Jones’ 36-man England squad for the autumn series after racking up seven tries in five Premiership matches and making Quins’ No.11 jersey – formerly worn by Visser – his own.
And Visser, who earned 33 caps between 2012 and 2017, says Murley’s prolific exploits can function as a pivotal asset for Jones’ side against Argentina, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa over the coming weeks.
The 35-year-old, speaking at Wooden Spoon’s Vets Fest 2022 in Birmingham, said: “Cadan has been incredible.
“I think the year before he broke through, he got the message that they weren’t quite sure if he was going to make it.
“He obviously took that the right way and worked incredibly hard to get where he is.
“He’s a solid player – he’s not one of the biggest guys, but he’s strong and he works hard.
“His finish against Northampton Saints was world class.
“I think the style of rugby he plays, the Quins way, would really suit England and give them a little bit more finishing prowess on the outside.”
Murley is not the only player from the Harlequins academy to graduate in recent years, with Visser also highlighting Louis Lynagh and England fly-half Marcus Smith.
Another player to make the step up has been Lennox Anyanwu and Visser praised both centre Anyanwu, 21, and the club’s youth setup itself.
He added: “I think he had just come into the academy when I was in my last year, but again, they have got such a fantastic conveyor belt of young talent coming through.
“There were always young boys coming through – Louis Lynagh was the same a couple of years ago and time after time the Quins academy seem to produce these kind of guys.”
One man on every rugby fan’s lips at the moment is Smith, who took the reins as Harlequins fly-half at the age of just 18 from long-standing No.10 and current Quins attack coach Nick Evans.
Visser recalls the time Smith took charge of training while still at school and says he always tipped the 23-year-old for greatness.
“I think the obvious one is Marcus Smith, he was phenomenal,” he added.
“I remember when he came in as a 17-year-old kid and he started bossing people like Joe Marler around almost immediately.
“This was when we were in that transition phase after Nick Evans left.
“To then see him go on to England honours and work incredibly hard to get that and almost be projected straight into the British & Irish Lions set up was amazing.”
Register for next year’s Vets Fest event at: https://woodenspoon.org.uk/wooden-spoon-vets-fest-2023/