Haskell: I thought I’d never play again

England star James Haskell said it’s “amazing” to be playing for England again after fearing he’d never play rugby again.

The 31-year-old was a key part of Eddie Jones’ Grand Slam side in 2016 but suffered a foot injury last summer which nearly cost him his career.

After an extraordinary return to fitness, the flanker pulled on the red rose jersey again for England’s 19-16 win against France on Saturday.

In an exclusive video for Rugby Lives, Haskell said: “Obviously had a few days to reflect since in the game on the weekend. Amazing to be back involved, but a great feeling. There was a time during my injury that I didn’t think I’d pull on any type of rugby shirt, never mind an England shirt.

“Credit to all the Wasps medical staff, all the people that got me back onto the field. My missus, as well, motivating me every day, feeding me every day, pushing me, when I doubted myself.

“It was great to be back at Twickenham, running out at the home of rugby. It’s the reason why we all want to play rugby, to run out in front of that crowd, who were in fine voice.

“I thought the players who started the match were great. They worked the French into the ground and then the finishers came on and did their little bit to get us over the line. I’m really looking forward to getting another opportunity out there, but it’s given me a taste.

“I watched England grow in the last seven months with so many good players and so many good players missing, that it’s so competitive but I’m just so excited to be here and as hungry as ever to get better and play and be part of this amazing team.”


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