James Hook: Gloucester to persevere with fly-half role

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live
James Hook
Hook joined Gloucester from Perpignan in the summer

James Hook needs more time to show his best form at fly-half for Gloucester, according to boss David Humphreys.

The Wales international, 29, has started all four Premiership matches this season at number 10, following his summer move from Perpignan.

Hook's versatility has meant he has never settled in a regular position, but Humphreys insisted there are no plans to move him around the backline.

"We've signed James as a 10," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Hook played for 53 minutes in the win against London Welsh last Friday, converting a try but missing three times from the tee, before being replaced by Mark Atkinson, with Billy Twelvetrees moving to fly-half.

Director of rugby Humphreys continued: "We knew when James arrived he hadn't had a huge amount of game time in that position over the last couple of seasons, so it would take him some time to bed in, not just to the position, but also to the style of play that we want.

"James has played well over the last few weeks, and I have no doubt you will see him playing 10 for Gloucester."

Hook's start at Gloucester
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Hook, who has 76 international caps, has played at centre, full-back and wing throughout his career, but admitted he joined the Cherry and Whites because he wanted a regular position on the field.

The Welshman was partnered at half-back by fellow summer signing Greig Laidlaw for the first three games of the season, but Dan Robson excelled at scrum-half against Welsh before being replaced in the second half by Scotland's Laidlaw.

James Hook
Hook was successful with one of his four kicks from the tee in Friday's win over London Welsh

"I thought Dan played very well," Humphreys said after their first away win of the season.

"Because of the quality we've got in certain positions we are going to rotate throughout the course of the season. Both scrum-halves at different stages of the game did very well."

And after two wins and two losses so far this campaign, Humphreys believes he still needs a few more matches before he can gauge the progression of his team.

"There have definitely been some improvements from when we started," he said.

"We said we needed six games, so let's sit down and review it in two more weeks' time, when we have finished playing against Saracens and Leicester."