'I couldn't imagine playing for a rival English club'
LUKE Narraway wants to complete his career at Perpignan.
It will be weird enough for the former Gloucester loose-forward to come back to Kingsholm in anything other than cherry and white.
But the Worcester-born back-rower could not even imagine turning out against Gloucester in the colours of a rival English club.
Narraway hopes he can seal a new contract at Stade Aime Giral – and see out his playing days with the Catalan giants.
The 30-year-old found himself surplus to Bryan Redpath's requirements in the summer of 2012 after a decade at Gloucester.
Narraway's one-club man ambitions behind him then, the butcher's son is intent on sticking at two.
"I signed a two-year deal when I moved," explained the seven-cap England flanker.
"We're talking currently and hopefully we can work something out.
"I'm happy out here and hopefully if the deal's right for both parties then we can make it happen.
"I stayed at Gloucester for 10 years, and sometimes I catch myself being shocked that I left, because I always wanted to stay.
"But I know I'm not someone who wants to chop and change, and move from club to club.
"I don't want to be at the end of my career and have five or six clubs I've played for, that's not what I am.
"I'd like to finish my career at Perpignan if all's good, and hopefully that decision will be taken out of my hands and we can make it work."
Injury robbed Narraway of the fairytale Kingsholm farewell, leaving his last home match a lacklustre 29-20 defeat to Newcastle Falcons on April 14, 2012.
The playmaking flanker is keen to add a new cherry and white chapter when Gloucester host Perpignan at Kingsholm in the Heineken Cup tonight (6pm).
And he admitted his team-mates could well be taken aback by the fervent atmosphere.
He continued: "It seemed so far away in August when we started the season, but now it's here and it's real.
"I'm really looking forward to coming back.
"I'm really pleased I get the chance to play at Kingsholm again, potentially it could be the last time I play there.
"It's great to have that opportunity.
"I was injured in my last six or seven weeks at Gloucester and I didn't realise what my last game would be.
"It was a pretty shocking home game that we lost to Newcastle as well.
"So it will be good to chalk that one off and hopefully make some better memories than that.
"Everything about it will be weird, from going through the doors and turning left instead of right, to seeing so many familiar faces you see every single week then you don't see for 18 months.
"When you play for a team you always wonder what it would be like to play against them, and now I will find out, and that's a bit weird.
"It's professional rugby, though, and we're coming for a win. If we can start with a win then we'll have a good chance of qualifying from the group.
"I'm not so sure whether I can help the boys with the Kingsholm experience to be honest.
"They asked me what the stadium was like, and I said the fans were passionate and it's a little bit like playing in France.
"And they just started laughing at me.
"They didn't believe me. They were saying the atmosphere isn't as good in England and all that.
"Then a couple of guys saw the analysis, saw the Shed and everyone wearing cherry and white, and they were really taken aback.
"The thing about France is that you play in hostile environments every week, so the guys are used to it.
"And it could be a bit of a shock to them hearing silence from the crowd for the goal-kickers – home fans at some clubs even start slow-hand claps when their own kicker is kicking!"
Player/backs coach Mike Tindall admitted the last person Gloucester want crowing about a victory is Narraway – but the man himself said he will keep his powder dry even if Perpignan steal a triumph tonight.
He added: "Inside I'd probably want to, but I know rugby's got a long memory, and we're playing Gloucester again in January.
"So I'll probably wait until after the return before I start dishing out any stick!
"I'm sure there will be a few text messages behind closed doors one way or the other, but that will be about it."