James Haskell feels England should move domestic game to summer
Last Updated: 05/11/15 3:51pm
James Haskell believes the English game would benefit from a move to a summer season as the inquest into England's Rugby World Cup failure continues.
The hosts were dumped out in the pool stage of the competition which New Zealand went on to win by beating Australia in last Saturday's final.
Leicester coach Richard Cockerill says England should spend less time trying to copy the All Blacks but Haskell feels there is benefit to at least learning some lessons from the three-time world champions.
Haskell is one of few current England players with experience of playing in the southern hemisphere, having represented the Otago Highlanders in Super 15 back in 2012.
"When I went to New Zealand I thought people would be throwing the ball out the back door all the time and that I'd have to be able to do drop-goals like Zinzan Brooke," Haskell said.
Rugby is rugby wherever you go, but there are some key differences. First and foremost everyone wants to be a rugby player, no one wants to be in 'The Only Way Is Essex'
"Lo and behold it turned out that rugby is rugby wherever you go, but there are some key differences. Culturally in New Zealand they live and breathe rugby.
"First and foremost everyone wants to be a rugby player, no one wants to be in 'The Only Way Is Essex' or a footballer. It helps when the whole nation is geared towards one thing.
"They play touch as soon as they can walk, in good weather. If they don't make their Super 15 team, they play club rugby. The surfaces are better across the board and I didn't have one wet weather game while I was there.
"The only change I can suggest if you want us to compete is to make rugby over here a summer sport.
"Then we can play in dry weather and play a style of rugby we want to play. There's no point wanting to be like New Zealand because we're not them.
"There isn't a miracle answer, but if we encouraged more people to play touch, focus on the skills and play in the summer, things would change."