Haskell rues 'bitter memory'
England flanker James Haskell admits he will take a long time to recover from the blow of passing up a grand slam opportunity.
Last Updated: 20/03/11 3:34pm
England flanker James Haskell admits he will take a long time to recover from the blow of passing up a grand slam opportunity against Ireland.
The Stade Francais forward as been a fixture in the England back row throughout an RBS Six Nations campaign that ultimately ended in disappointment with a 24-8 defeat in Dublin.
Haskell is currently in talks over activating the option of an extra year at his club side in France, even though he may be risking his international future by staying in the Top 14.
And the 25-year-old says that if the defeat on Saturday is his last experience in the Six Nations, it will be a frustrating way to go out.
"I left nothing out on that field. I come away pleased with that but frustrated I have lost to Ireland again and we have lost a grand slam," Haskell said.
"Whatever happens with the World Cup or where I sign as a club - whether I stay in France or come back to England - this could be my last Six Nations.
"You have to play as if it's your last game and I tried to do that. We will wait and see. People in higher positions will make decisions (about the future).
"This will be a bitter memory for a long while. You are only as good as your last game and this wasn't great."
He added: "I am bitterly disappointed. I have never been in a position to win the grand slam. To lose the way we did was very difficult.
"It is disappointing and takes the edge off eight weeks of hard work. We were our own worst enemies. It was a physical game but if you shoot yourself in the foot every play it makes it 10 times worse."
Despite the setback, Haskell is confident the squad will learn from the defeat and use the experience to their advantage in the future.
"Momentum was with us, the country was behind us, the fans were behind us and it was the start of something very special - that has taken a knock back but it is not the end of the world," he said.
"It will do my head in for however long but this team will be richer for it. We have a special group of players with a great group of management.
"You get tournament teams and finals teams. When I was at Wasps we did very well in turning up and winning those finals. This is one of those learning curves.
"No major changes are needed. We were our own worst enemies. If we can correct that we can carry on this momentum. I don't think there is any need to panic. It is just very upsetting we have blown a grand slam."