Hook should move to the Premiership: Catt

Wales backline star James Hook has been told that he would benefit from playing his rugby in the Guinness Premiership in England.

Hook has been handed an invitation to join the London Irish revolution by World Cup winner Mike Catt.

England World Cup winner Mike Catt who like Hook was moved around the backline has revealed that he would like to have the Welsh playmaker on the books of the ambitious Guinness Premiership club.

“James could slot perfectly into the London Irish set-up if he wanted to,” stressed Catt, the Irish backs coach who played the final match of his illustrious career on the weekend.

“He’s that sort of player. A lot of Welsh guys are capable of it. We need players just like that.”

Catt knows what it has been like for Hook being moved around the backline as he too preferred to play at fly half but was blocked on the international stage by Jonny Wilkinson.

Hook’s international career with Wales has been plagued by Scarlets veteran Stephen Jones who is Warren Gatland’s preferred fly half but Catt is is adamant the 42 capped Hook possesses the talent to shine whatever number he’s wearing on the pitch.

“James is a quality rugby player,” he told the Western Mail.

“He’s got to be able to make those positions his. His passion and ability to do what he does on the pitch is clear.”

Hook has also been linked with European stars Toulouse – who are on course for a record fourth Heineken Cup crown – and English powerhouses Leicester Tigers.

“It’s flattering and nice to know clubs want me,” Hook has previously said.

“Obviously when offers come in for you, you’ve got to take a look at them.

“When the time comes, I’ll do that.

“Who knows what will happen. I’ve just got to wait and see.

“A lot can happen in a year. I know that more than anyone.”

Catt says that Hook shouldn’t have any problems playing at outside-half, centre or full-back but believes that he should decide on a position.

He does however also admit that playing at No 10 and 12 can be beneficial.

“You need to have two decisive movers in the middle,” said Catt.

“I was chopped and changed throughout my career and swapping positions wasn’t a problem.”

Catt also has eyes for Scarlets centre Jonathan Davis after he played a key role in the Scarlets’ Heineken Cup double over London Irish this season.

Catt admits he rates Davies, who has been compared to Wales and Lions legend, Scott Gibbs, as a real talent.

“I rate Jonathan very highly,” he said.

“He’s very deceptive, an out-and-out 12 and he’s got fantastic feet.

“He’s not one of those showboating players but he’s been very impressive; and he’s done it quietly.

“He needs to put a little bit of pressure on Jamie Roberts for his Wales place.”

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