Ben Botica has warned the Twickenham Stoop fans to expect another thriller when Harlequins welcome Gloucester Rugby on Saturday.
Both encounters between these two sides last season threw up two of the best games of the entire campaign, Conor O’Shea’s side clinging on to win 28-25 at the Stoop before the Cherry & Whites got their revenge at Kingsholm in a 17-15 success.
This season neither Quins nor the Nigel Davies’ Gloucester have hit the heights of last, the visitors in particular struggling for form in the Aviva Premiership and currently sitting tenth.
And while Quins have recently turned their season around with wins over Sale Sharks and, even more impressively, at Welford Road against champions Leicester Tigers, Botica and co only have one win at the Stoop all season.
But the Kiwi is confident the home fans will be getting their money’s worth come Saturday.
“We know that playing against Gloucester, they are quite an expansive side,” he said.
“Last season our two games were very exciting and we know that we will need to be right on it if we want to get a win.
“The teams have similar styles and it could be quite a high-scoring game, although our defence coach won’t be pleased by that!
“But we will earn the right to go wide, do our job up front but that does not mean we will be afraid to run it from deep if needs be."
Gloucester Rugby have slipped to three successive Premiership defeats since their 22-16 victory against Newcastle at Kingston Park on September 29, this remains their only away victory in any competition since February.
But after a chance to rest some key names in the LV= Cup, winger Shane Monahan is confident that his side can bounce back in style against Quins.
“It is never easy to go away to the Stoop and get a result”, he said.
“There has been a bit of a break in the Premiership games and we have got two back-to-back wins, against Japan and Newcastle, which is good. It is great for a bit of confidence for the lads to get back to winning ways.
“We looked at the two LV= Cup games and the Japan game as an opportunity to hit the refresh button and look at areas we needed to look at and fix them – and they have gone well.
“They are similar to us in that they like to play an expansive type of rugby. They will play from anywhere so they are very dangerous in that respect. They have got such a dangerous back three and they will take advantage of any mistakes.”
Referee: Matthew Carley (4th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Gareth Copsey. TMO: Roy Maybank.