Haskell rediscovers World Cup form

James Haskell

James Haskell

First published in Sport by

JAMES Haskell might not be stuck on 50 England caps if his recent form is anything to go by.

The 29-year-old has regained his zest this season and director of rugby at Wasps Dai Young believes he’s better now than when he was wearing the famous white shirt.

A few years of a almost continuous rugby had taken its toll on Haskell’s body, but surgery last summer restored him to rude health and Wasps have been reaping the benefits.

Young said: “He didn’t play anywhere near how he could when he came here. He’d played a lot of rugby continually and his knees were giving him lots of problems.

“He got that rectified in the summer and has come back and gone from strength to strength.

“His defensive capabilities are excellent, his tackle dominance has been outstanding, and if you look at the stats he’s right up there with any back row in any league regarding turnovers.

“What he’s added to his game in the last four to six weeks is some powerful carries.

“He’s also developed his line-out game and I’ve been really pleased with him, I think he’s really kicked on and been brilliant both on and off the field.

“I don’t want to pick Stuart’s [Lancaster, England coach] team for him, but he played for England last season and I think he’s a 30-40 per cent better player this season.

“I’d like to think that they’re still looking at him. I think he deserves to go on the summer tour, but there’s a lot of players.”

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