Cook: No offence to the Pirates, I want to be in mix for Gloucester first team
WHEN Rob Cook signed for Gloucester this summer, he always knew there was a good chance he would make a return to the Cornish Pirates.
The 28-year-old signed a Cherry and Whites deal including a clause allowing him to be loaned back to the Pirates in potential short-term stints.
The Lincoln-born full-back did not expect to be back in Cornwall less than two months after leaving.
And the Worcester University graduate certainly did not then expect that loan to last one game – and three days.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Cook slotted the match-winning penalty in the Pirates' 19-17 victory over Plymouth at the Mennaye Field on September 9 – and then drove back up the M5 to start Gloucester United's 20-12 A League victory over Sale Jets at Kingsholm.
A spate of back-three injuries saw Cook corralled back up the motorway and after two games in as many days, he then clambered off the bench for his Premiership debut in Gloucester's 16-16 draw at Worcester on September 15.
Cook then made his full Premiership bow in Gloucester's 29-22 Wasps victory on Saturday, offering assurance and stability at the rear of the Kingsholm side's backline.
Still getting his head around a hectic schedule, Cook said he was delighted to grab his chance against Wasps.
He explained: "It was part of my deal signing here was that if I was not playing or coming back from injury that I would get sent down to Pirates – I just never thought it would happen quite so early!
"I didn't mind at all, though, it's always great to be playing.
"Hopefully I won't be down there too often, no offence to the Pirates, of course, but I'd love to be in the mix for the first team regularly here.
"It helped them out of an injury hole and I was happy to help.
"Coming back for the United game the next day was tough, but you can't grumble at time on the field.
"Nigel said when I went down there that I might not be involved with the Gloucester first team for a couple of weeks because people were playing well, and fair play to him for being straight-up about it.
"But then there were a couple of injuries and all of a sudden I was straight back in contention.
"That's all happened in two weeks, and a lot of it is about showing what you can do when you have the opportunity.
"I was pretty nervous the night before the Wasps game but it was a great experience, nice to get a win and get 80 minutes.
"Getting 80 minutes under my belt and playing okay, that's been a good boost.
"I didn't think I did anything special, but hopefully I was solid.
"We got the win in the end and that's what counts.
"Sooner or later we're going to click properly and hopefully when we do we'll take a team apart."
Expecting a stern test from London Welsh at Oxford's Kassam Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), Cook said Gloucester must relish the tight, gritty battle that awaits.
Drawing on his experiences of taking on Welsh with the Pirates, Cook added: "Welsh are a difficult side to play against, I've come up against them a lot in the past.
"They've got quite a lot of continuity from last term.
"They will keep it quite simple and direct – but we're looking forward to that.
"Everyone expects them to be bottom of the league come the end of the season, and there's no greater motivation for them than that.
"They've already proved a lot of people wrong, and they'll want to keep doing that."