Six Nations

Haskell rues past indiscretions

2018-01-19 14:01
James Haskell (Getty)

London - Wasps flank James Haskell is lamenting the severity of the suspension that will see him miss England's opening two Six Nations matches.

Haskell was banned for four weeks on Wednesday after an independent disciplinary hearing found him guilty of a dangerous tackle on Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts in Wasps' shock 33-28 defeat in Champions Cup round five action last Saturday. 

Haskell hasn't trod on the wrong side of a law in a while; his last bans of substance coming for head-butting in 2008 and punching in 2012; two indiscretions which have left a blemish on his record. 

And the 32-year-old has plenty of regrets over those two incidents he believes were 'innocuous' but that have come back to bite him later down the line. 

"Obviously it's really disappointing, it was a complete accident, there was no intent in it," Haskell told Sky Sports on Thursday of his tackle on Roberts. 

"I've had an exemplary record since 2012 but they couldn't give me full discount because I didn't have a completely clean record," the 75-times capped loose forward added. 

"They want to make rugby safe and I agree if you make contact with the head it's a dangerous play," explained Haskell, promoting his new book, 'Perfect Fit'. 

"The right verdict came out, I just wish I had the dispensation for essentially playing 16 years professional rugby and having two things on my record, both for completely innocuous stuff."

Haskell was set to become a key feature for Jones' England until the suspension, especially with Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes ruled out. 

"I had a chat with Eddie and explained the situation," said Haskell. "He told me to make the most of the four weeks out and treat it like a mini pre-season. 

"It's put me out of the frame for England and I have to deal with the consequences." 

Jones signed a new contract with English Rugby on Wednesday keeping him as head coach until 2021, two years longer than the original expiry date of 2019. 

And Haskell is understandably delighted at the extension of the highly-respected mentor, who has an exemplary record of 22 wins from his 23 games at the helm.

"I thought like most people he would finish in 2019, hopefully after everyone had lifted the World Cup. But Eddie has been an amazing asset to the English team," he said. 

Meanwhile, Haskell is unsure as to where his own future lies and is waiting for Wasps to initiate talks. 

"You always want to stay with your club. I've been at Wasps a long time," he said. "But they've got to make a decision whether they want me. That's the difference. They've signed some good players and are looking to sign other players so we'll see."

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  james haskell  |  rugby


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