Hook happy at 10
James Hook is confident he can shine at fly-half after being handed the Wales number 10 shirt for the clash with Scotland.
Last Updated: 08/02/11 5:48pm
James Hook is confident he has the ability to shine at fly-half after being handed the Wales number 10 shirt for the clash with Scotland on Saturday.
The Ospreys player has not started a match for club or country at stand-off this season but will take over at Murrayfield as Stephen Jones recovers from a neck problem.
The 96-cap veteran will be on the bench in Edinburgh after picking up the knock during Wales' RBS Six Nations defeat against England last Friday.
And Hook, who started that contest at full-back, believes he has what it takes to handle the pressure of the positional switch.
"The most important thing is we perform as a team in Scotland," Hook said.
"I believe in my own ability. I know what I can do, and if I have that belief and confidence in the players around me as well, there is no reason why we can't do well."
Hook last started at fly-half for Wales when they claimed a narrow victory against Italy in the 2009 Six Nations, but he has impressed at the position in some second-half cameos for the Ospreys this season.
He added: "It will be a lot different for me starting at 10, rather than going there for the last 10 or 20 minutes of a game.
"You are anxious to make an impact when you move there for the last part of the game, and maybe you try to do too much.
"Starting there from the beginning, it will be totally different. For us, it's just getting the balance of our game right, playing what is in front of us and not being negative.
"We've got to believe in ourselves, we have got a great squad. Things have been said in the media, but we can't let outside influences have any effect on us.
"We need a reaction after last week, and if we get it, it should be good enough to take us through."
Wales coach Warren Gatland revealed that he considered handing uncapped fly-half Rhys Priestland his debut against Scotland, but eventually settled on Hook.
He said: "There was a long debate about whether or not we started Rhys. He has been the best attacking 10 in Wales this season, but to put him under pressure at Murrayfield wasn't fair for a first start.
"It is a brave call from us to give James a start at 10, considering he hasn't started there at all this season.
"He's been wanting to play there for a while. He's a quality player, and one of the things about James is finding a position for him in the team."