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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 08:46 GMT
Hook ready to direct Wales at 10
James Hook
Hook sees his long-term future at outside-half
Wales fly-half James Hook says he is ready for the challenge of taking over from injured captain Stephen Jones at 10 in Saturday's game with England.

"I'm confident and so are the team, we want to go out and express ourselves in front of our home fans," said Hook, 21.

"Stephen's loss was huge but it's great to get a chance in a big Test match, 10 is probably my position long-term.

"We didn't play in the right areas in Italy. We have to play in England's half, be patient, and take our points."

BBC Wales' Sean Davies

Baglan man Hook was playing semi-professional rugby with Neath at this time last year.

Despite not having started a regional game for the Ospreys at the time, he won his first Wales cap against Argentina on the summer tour, coming off the bench to score a try.

He has featured in every Wales Test since, alternating between fly-half and inside centre, and has started the four Six Nations games this season at 12.

It's a huge match, regardless of the other results this season this is Wales v England

James Hook

The Ospreys have also moved him between the two roles, but he has always looked more comfortable at stand-off and fans were calling for him to take the Wales 10 shirt long before Jones suffered his injury.

"I just want to avoid the burden of expectation and play my normal game," Hook told BBC Sport Wales.

"It's a huge match, regardless of the other results this season this is Wales v England.

"There are so many leaders in this Wales side anyway, it's not all about the 10.

"This will be my first experience of playing under Gareth Thomas as a captain.

"He's like Stephen in that he brings so much to the game, he's very passionate and wants to do well. Everything is for the team."

Hook will be pitted against England's latest fly-half tyro, Toby Flood.

"I've never played against him before, but he's obviously a very talented youngster with a big future," said Hook.

"You could say the same about Shane Geraghty on the bench. It's going to be a challenge, but one I'm looking forward to facing."

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