Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard expects a tough encounter as London Irish visit the Stoop in the return of the Premiership.

It should be a fierce clash with Quins just one point off fourth place and eager to gain revenge after Irish produced a 35-5 win in their last meeting at the venue.  

Joe Gray is set to make his 151st appearance for the side, in his second spell at the club after joining on loan from Saracens.

Former Welsh international Scott Baldwin is on the bench as he looks to return after a long injury lay-off while Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Month Alex Dombrandt start at number eight.

There are three changes to the backs as Martin Landajo starts at scrum-half, with Tom Penny injured Cadan Murley moves from the wing to the centre and Ross Chisolm starts at 14.

Harlequins come off the back of a 41-14 win over Saracens in the last round while Irish beat high-flying Northampton Saints and Gustard knows the danger of Declan Kidney’s side.

“Irish are a well-coached team led by Declan [Kidney] who has assembled a very talented and experienced playing group.

“They will be hungry to continue their strong form, having become the first team to oversee Northampton Saints this season at Franklin’s Gardens, so we are aware of the very real threat they possess.

“We have been unfortunate with injuries this season most notably in two particular areas this season; hooker and in the centres.

“As a club we’re delighted to see the second coming of Joe Gray who makes his 151st appearance in the famous quarters on Saturday, and also the return of Scott Baldwin from a severe injury that has limited him to only seven games early on in the campaign.”

It will be a special occasion for the club as Quins become the first professional rugby side to host a Pride themed fixture.

Ahead of the Premiership clash, t-shirts and Pride flags will be given away, as well as stands from charities including The Terrance Higgins Trust, Stonewall and the LGBT+ Police Network.

Former Quins player Simon Miall will speak at half-time about his experience at the club, where he played from 2002-2007, and about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gustard added: “We are delighted to be hosting our LGBTQ+ matchday at the Stoop. It is important as people, and as a club, we continue to show that rugby is a genuine sport for all, and we are all inclusive.

“I think it’s a great, albeit small, step in the right direction to where we as a club and as a sport want to be.”