Gloucester full-back Rob Cook insists London Wasps are not just a two-man team, despite identifying wingers Tom Varndell and Christian Wade as the men to stop in this Sunday’s key Aviva Premiership match.
Varndell and Wade – overlooked by England for the Six Nations – have been in inspired form for the London outfit this season, with both men crossing the whitewash in Wasps’ 17-16 win at the home of defending champions Harlequins last time out.
This weekend’s game at Adams Park in front of the ESPN cameras is a crucial encounter with Gloucester sitting two points behind their fourth-placed hosts in the Aviva Premiership table.
And while 28-year-old Cook is fully aware of the threat posed by Wasps’ dynamic duo, he believes stopping the supply will be key to Gloucester coming out on top on Sunday afternoon.
“The Wasps game is another massive game for us and it is important that we build on what was a big win at Northampton,” said Cook, who kicked 17 points in Gloucester’s 27-11 win at Northampton last weekend.
“We have obviously identified their wingers as a big threat and have worked hard this week to counteract that.
“But they have other personnel we have to watch out for and if you just concentrate on the likes of Tom and Christian then the other guys are going to punish you.
“They finish off very well, that is clear for all to see, but it is what happens in between that you really have to keep a watch over.”
The race for a top-four finish could hardly be closer with Gloucester leapfrogging Wasps on Saturday afternoon, only to see the men from Adams Park stun Quins to regain the upper hand.
And Wasps hooker T Rhys Thomas expects a full-blooded encounter this weekend with both teams fully aware of what a win could mean come the end of the season.
“Gloucester have probably had one eye on fourth for a while, and wouldn’t have expected us to go to Quins and win,” said the Welshman,
“I think they're going to have an extra little bit of bite about them because we're in such competitive areas in the league but there's no easy game in this league and that's the truth.
“Every game you can lose and lose quite comfortably unless you're on the ball so we're taking nothing for granted.
“We know they've got a formidable pack and it's going to be one of the most important games of our season that is for sure.”
(Adams Park, 3pm)
Referee: Andrew Small (84th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Ashley Rowden. TMO: Trevor Fisher.
live on ESPN HD