Harlequins was founded in 1866, originally a part of Hampstead football club. The first game for the rugby union was played the following year. not until 1870 Hampstead football club changed its name to Harlequins football club.

Harlequins was against the American Olympic team in 1924 who had come to Europe to defend their Olympic title at the Games in Paris.2001 they became the first British rugby union team to win the European Shield. The Harlequins were crowned winners of the European Challenge Cup in 2011, the Aviva Premiership in 2012 and the LV Cup in 2013.

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