Harlequins and Gloucester clash in an all-English European Cup contest at Kingsholm on Saturday with Quins keen to keep their winning momentum going before their back-to-back clashes with Toulouse next month.
Harlequins have won all 11 of their matches in all tournaments so far this season and are the only 100 percent side involved in this season's European competitions but Director of rugby Conor O'Shea knows that they face a tough test at Gloucester this weekend.
"We face a big challenge at the weekend but it's great to be back in the Heineken Cup – this is proper rugby," he said.
"Gloucester's a tough place to go but that's what you play rugby for. Even though we're familiar with Gloucester in the Premiership, there's the atmosphere that goes with the Heineken Cup at Kingsholm," added O'Shea.
The Harlequins boss revealed that his side also has a score to settle at Kingsholm which should spur them on this weekend.
He said: "It was 26-19 to them down there in the league last season and we were held up over the line trying and draw the game so hopefully we'll go down and be competitive – and I think we will."
O'Shea said that while his team's current winning streak has been great for the confidence of the players it is largely irrelevant to the clash on Saturday.
"It's nice to win matches because it keeps the feel-good factor but the record is an irrelevance, our next game is the most important. Winning breeds confidence, though. Maybe when you're in the midst of a tough game you find the mental strength to come out on top because the belief is there," he commented.
The Harlequins coach was impressed with the character his side showed against Connacht last week as they were made to work hard for a gritty victory.
"We were tested big time against Connacht but we had the fortitude to come through. I'm delighted that we showed that sort of mental strength.
"It's easy to be offloading away and pirouetting down the pitch but sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and come up with the goods and we did against a tough Connacht team," said O'Shea.
The 25-17 win was enough to bank the four points and Quins fullback Mike Brown echoed O'Shea's warning over the looming Kingsholm test.
"We have got a lot of respect for Gloucester, especially at Kingsholm," he said. "It's a bit of a fortress for them in front of the Shed so it's going to be a massive challenge for us.
"We won’t take that challenge lightly and we’ll be working hard this week in training because there were a lot of errors against Connacht. Gloucester like to throw the ball around and we like to throw it around as well, so it should be a good and exciting game," he added.
Brown said that although his team has started the season with a bang they need to remain focused as other side's will be hungry to break their sensational streak.
"We have shown that we can win close games and that we can play a bit of rugby. That's good for us but we've got to keep going because teams really want to beat us now.
"We've learnt a lot from last season and from all the close games we had and we've got pretty much the same squad this year. At the moment it's paying off for us but we know we've got to keep working hard. If we get carried away with the unbeaten start, we'll lose on Saturday," he warned.
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