Charlie Hodgson knows all about playing in front of the baying Basque hordes in Biarritz and is hoping it will be third time lucky when he returns to the south of France with reigning English champions Saracens in Pool 5 this weekend.
The former England and British & Irish Lions flyhalf made his European debut for his new club in Sunday's bonus point, 42-17 home triumph over Benetton Treviso and will be a handy man to have around this week as Sarries get set for Round 2.
Hodgson knows all about the pitfalls that lie ahead against the likes of Harinordoquy, Traille, Thion and Yachvili.
In his distinguished career with Sale Sharks there was the 31-3 hiding at Parc des Sports Aguilera in 2003 and then the 11-6 quarterfinal defeat in front of 32,000 fans at Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian in 2006.
"This is going to be a massive occasion for us and we are all very, very excited about the prospect of playing in Biarritz," he told ERC.
"I have played there a couple of times in the Heineken Cup and I know it isn't an easy place to go and come away with the right result.
"Their fans are very passionate – they really get behind their side and make it difficult for you.
"I lost a quarterfinal there a few years ago and know just how tough a place it is to go and win. But there is a very good atmosphere here at Saracens and the lads work very hard for each other.
"It really helps me having a perfect platform laid by the forwards and having centres like Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell outside me."
Despite having notched 558 points in the two ERC tournaments in 51 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup matches ahead of his Euro debut for the Saracens, Hodgson found himself in the unusual position of not taking the goals kicks against Treviso.
That job was given to Farrell, who helped himself to a match haul of 22 points that included four conversions and three penalties.
But the English champions are going to need all the experience that double Amlin Challenge Cup winner Hodgson can provide in the Basque cauldron this weekend.
"The Heineken Cup is the biggest competition in which I will now be involved in," he said.
"I haven't had the chance to go to the World Cup, so this is it for me.
"It is not an easy competition to win and it would be nice to join the likes of Leinster, Leicester, Toulouse and London Wasps.
"However, one loss and you are pretty much out of your Pool. It is a tough one and while we are one rung up the ladder, there is still a long way to go."
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