NOT too long ago James Haskell and Danny Cipriani were the bright young things at Wasps charged with carrying on a legacy of success.
For any number of reasons it hasn’t happened, but tomorrow the former team-mates will cross paths in Wycombe again when Cipriani’s Sale come to Adams Park.
Haskell, now 28, has something of the grizzled veteran about him these days after ten years at the coalface and 50 England caps.
But he insists he’s firing on all cylinders again after tendonitis led to a summer of rest, and 80-minute performances in each of Wasps’ last three games suggests he’s right.
He said: “I’m really pleased with the way I’ve been performing, personally since I’ve come back. I’ve played 15 games and I feel like I’m 23 again.
“It’s the best I’ve felt in three years and it’s great to finally feel fresh and showing what you’re truly capable of.
“I’m 28 years old and I’ve been doing this for a decade but my desire to play the game has been reignited – I’m loving the whole experience again.
“It’s great knowing you can help the team out to your full potential and hopefully it will continue to pay off.”
However, Haskell hasn’t been able to prevent Wasps slipping to narrow defeats in each of their last three matches in a run that has cost them their top six spot.
Sale have jumped above them in the Aviva Premiership and are now five points clear of the black and golds, who have lost eight league games already this season by a less than a score.
Haskell said: “We’ve have lost I don’t know how many games by a few points here and there but we’re still aiming for that top four because that’s where I believe we belong.
“It’s just been a blip, we had won our last eight games out of nine before losing to Gloucester in the LV= Cup so we’re treating it as such.
“It comes down to individual players as well, we have a gameplan but some of the senior players have been having words in the ear of others to make sure we’re all on the right track.”
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