MATT Kvesic has urged Gloucester to get stuck into Perpignan star James Hook.
The Wales international scored all of his side’s points, racking up a full-house including a try, conversion, four penalties and a drop goal, in the Cherry and Whites’ slender 27-22 victory at Kingsholm in October.
He is set to line up in Sunday’s Heineken Cup clash at Stade Aime Giral and Kvesic has put Gloucester on red alert declaring they must stop the prestigious play-maker in his tracks.
Kvesic said: “James Hook’s a hell of a player. His ball skills, the way he reads the game and his kicking is all great.
“He ran riot up here but that was more down to the backs giving Perpignan the ball to run back and us as forwards letting them get on the front foot.
“This time we have to close him down and give him as little space as possible.
“I’m not sure if he will be at fly-half or full-back but if he’s at 10 I have to get in the face and put pressure on him, which is difficult because he has such a good step. It will be a tough challenge but one I will enjoy.
“We just have to front up physically against their big boys, we have to put some good shots in, disrupt the breakdown and give our packs a platform to play.”
Gloucester still have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup and will know whether this remains, and what they need to achieve, by Saturday night.
Kvesic is one of only a handful of Gloucester players to have experienced the infamous Bull Ring in Perpignan and he expects a fierce reception from the partisan Catalans.
But he insists the Cherry and White will be fired-up to not only replicate the intensity they delivered against Munster but to rediscover their clinical edge.
He said: “I played there last year with Worcester and it’s an unbelievable place. You’re in the changing rooms before the game and the crowd are above you stamping their feet.
“It’s a big test, it was easy to pick ourselves up against Munster because we were coming off a bad defeat and we knew the atmosphere would be bouncing. Now we are going away from home we have to back it up. If we can take another step forward we can get the win.”
Kvesic played a central role in Gloucester’s only try against the Irish province, fixing the defence with ease before releasing Charlie Sharples.
He insists the jet-heeled wing did all the hard work but enjoys attacking in the wide channels and is determined to play a similar role to British and Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric.
He said: “I wouldn’t say I put him away, it was a hell of a finish from Charlie, beating about three boys in the space of five metres.
“But I like being in those wide channels and feel I can cause damage there. It’s been difficult with the lack of momentum this year but it will come and hopefully I can show that side of my game a bit more.
“I played on the wing a couple of times for Worcester and like getting the ball in my hands.
“Justin is a good example of a flanker who can also bring an attacking game. He’s an outstanding athlete and the way he plays the ball and the skills he has is similar to what I can bring.”