Haskell to seize opportunity
James Haskell plans to take his England recall with both hands in this weekend's third Test versus South Africa.
Last Updated: 22/06/12 4:31pm
James Haskell plans to take his England recall with both hands as he prepares to make his international return in this weekend's third Test versus South Africa.
The 27-year-old has not featured since last autumn's shambolic World Cup campaign after opting to play club rugby in Japan and New Zealand.
However, coach Stuart Lancaster turned to the experienced Wasps-bound forward following an injury to captain Chris Robshaw.
Haskell admits he was never likely to be the quietest member of the England squad, although he knows what England are looking to achieve despite slipping two-down in the series.
"I am never going to be a quiet guy sitting in the corner - that is not me, I can't resist a bit of banter," commented Haskell.
"For the most part some of the boys enjoy that. But what I try to do, when it comes to training, is make sure I get the balance right.
"I haven't been the perception of James Haskell, joking and larking around.
"I have been what I normally am, pretty sensible and serious when it comes to the training ground but in the downtime, having a coffee with the boys, then we'll have a joke and a laugh.
"I know what we are trying to achieve here. I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity and I am not going to mess it up."
Haskell suspected his opportunity might be coming as he was left on the bench during the midweek tour match against the Northern Barbarians in Potchefstroom.
"I wanted to get on - warming up is tiring but you don't get that shot of adrenalin from experiencing it," he continued.
"But when I didn't come on and was fit and able to participate this weekend...it was a bit of a dream come true really.
"I came here with no expectations. I didn't expect to be involved in the Test team.
"I came here to fit in with new England, get the mentality right off the field as well as on it. Through injury I have got the chance quicker than I thought."