London Welsh director of rugby Lyn Jones is pleased that Harlequins' attacking philosophy was rewarded with the Aviva Premiership title last season.
The capital rivals meet at Twickenham Stoop on Friday with champions Quins expected to brush aside the newcomers to the English top flight. Jones is glad to see the league's most entertaining side flourishing and believes they will thrive in Europe.
"It's great to see a team that plays that type of rugby be so successful," the Welshman said. You want to see good rugby and you want to see the teams that play it get what they deserve. They have the mindset that they want to play and I believe they'll do well in the Heineken Cup this season."
He added: "There's no reason why they can't defend the Premiership. They will be there or thereabouts at the end."
Welsh marked their Premiership debut with a 38-13 defeat by finalists Leicester in a match that Jones insists highlighted the standards needed to survive in the division
"It was hard and we're thankful for it because now we have some standards to work to," he said. "Now we know the intensity of how we must work and the accuracy that must come with that to become a successful Premiership side.
"There's lots of good in our game but we need to get better at it. We showed passion and spirit against Leicester, but that has to be combined with ability. There are some clear gaps in our game and Quins will be ready for us."
Quins have their own demons to exorcise following their roller-coaster 42-40 victory over Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday. They completed a remarkable comeback led by fly-half Nick Evans after trailing 40-13. Director of rugby Conor O'Shea, who has replaced scrum-half Danny Care with Karl Dickson, insists they can ill-afford to be similarly generous against Welsh.
"We wanted to start the season well, we got away with it against Wasps and now we want to build some momentum," he said. "I expect Welsh to come to play because that's what they do. They have an ambition to play and that's what makes them good to watch
"We're expecting a big battle and if we're slightly off our game in terms of our work rate and physicality, they'll skin us so we'd better be ready. It's going to be a tough season for them but they will win games. If you don't treat them with the respect they deserve you will lose and we're not going to do that."
- Lyn Jones
- Twickenham Stoop