Scarlets boss Simon Easterby is adamant his troops will be driven on by the prospect of facing English opposition on Saturday.
Scarlets boss Simon Easterby is adamant his troops will be driven on by the prospect of facing off against English opposition on Saturday.
The Welsh region travel to Harlequins on Heineken Cup duty, with their last European visit to the Stoop ending in 29-24 defeat during the 2008/09 season.
However, cross-border clashes seem to see the Welsh side up their game, having triumphed at both Franklin's Gardens and the Madejski Stadium in recent years.
Easterby attests to the motivational powers of visits Eastwards.
“We have been able to get up for the big games in the past and although some of our players were probably still in school for that London Irish game, they were pretty special memories for the players and the supporters there that day,” he told the South Wales Evening Post.
“It would be great if we could reproduce that type of performance and get some early momentum into our Heineken Cup campaign, which you need in this tournament.
“Playing English sides does give us a massive lift down here in the west, without doubt.
“It shouldn't need certain things to get teams up, but sometimes that extra edge and spice to a fixture does give you a lift.
“We don't play English sides very often, it is a change and often that can bring the best out of players.”
Despite Quins negotiating a similarly tricky start to the season as his own charges, Easterby has warned that the Premiership side possess serious quality.
“Quins are a good team, they have proven that over the last couple of years, you don't make the quarter-finals of Europe like they did last season and not be an effective side,” he added.
“But I don't think we are too far away from putting a decent performance together.
“We are confident if we get our own house in order we can cause teams problems. This is an opportunity to step away from the league for a couple of weeks and enter into the top club competition in the northern hemisphere and set our stall out in that.”