MATT Kvesic insists friendship will go out the window when he lines up against Worcester Warriors on Sunday.
The Gloucester flanker made the move down the M5 in the summer, having spent his entire career at Sixways.
But he insists he will hold nothing back against his former teammates as Gloucester welcome the Premiership basement boys to Kingsholm.
Kvesic, 21, said: “It’s definitely one of those when friendship is put aside for 80 minutes.
“I haven’t thought about it being against my old club and mates much yet but I’m sure it will come into my head pre kick-off.
“I keep in touch with a couple of the boys there quite frequently and I’m sure I’ll catch up with them at some point, but in the meantime it’s a case of staying away from the enemy.
“I have a lot of respect for the boys, as I hope they have for me, and I’m sure it will be a good game.
“There hasn’t been any banter yet and I’m not sure there will be much ahead of the match because it’s such a big one and both sides will want to keep their heads down.”
Worcester have not won a league encounter in 10 months and languish rock bottom of the table with just two bonus points to show for their exploits this season.
But Gloucester are in no position to take their opponents lightly after faring only slightly better in their own campaign with just one Premiership win on their own patch.
The Cherry and Whites sit 10th and 11 points clear of their local rivals and victory would not only kick-start their own season but all but mathematically consign the Warriors to relegation.
Kvesic said: “It’s a massive game for us no matter who we are playing because we need a win and to get some momentum back.
“We’ve been unlucky because sometimes we have performed but not got the results, but on the flip side of that we should have got the those results.
“It’s frustrating because we have it in the tank, we’re not playing to the best of our ability but need to start getting those wins and looking up the table.
“There’s so much talent here and I’m sure once it clicks we will be a tough team to beat.”
There will be even more spice to the derby with former Kingsholm coaches Dean Ryan and Carl Hogg heading up Worcester’s backroom staff.
Ryan and Hogg will unquestionably have an advantageous insight to the Cherry and Whites but Kvesic is not worried.
He said: “Dean being there gives it more spice He’s a good coach and will know some of the guys really well.
“There has been a lot of change since I left with basically a Gloucester coaching unit going in. They will have inside information on us.
“But I don’t want to worry about what they’re doing. We’re in a place where we’re playing some good rugby but need to be consistent. If we do what we do well, play to the best of our ability I’m not really worried.”
Kvesic made his England debut during the summer tour of Argentina and was rewarded for his fine form with a place in Stuart Lancaster’s EPS squad for the current campaign.
However, he was unused throughout the autumn and has been disappointed in his displays in Cherry and White.
And while Kvesic is well aware that Lancaster will be keeping a close eye players throughout the festive season he insists his focus is on performing for Gloucester.
He added: “It’s been a bit disappointing on a personal note, I don’t think I’ve been playing particularly well and it’s been really frustrating.
“But there’s a lot of factors contributing to that but I’ve now settled in and I’m enjoying myself with a great group of boys.
“Players will be looking to make a statement during this period and there are a lot of guys playing very well right across the country and you could see that in Europe.
“There’s a lot of competition for jerseys, which is great for England, but I have to make sure I’m playing to the best of my ability to stay in the frame. I can only take it one game at a time and that starts with Gloucester.”