Haskell: We'll club together
England star believes team spirit is key to success
By Tony Curtis - Twitter: @SkySportsTC. Last Updated: 05/08/11 10:09am
James Haskell believes the "club environment" created by the England squad can provide the platform for World Cup glory.
Despite five members of the initial 45-man training squad having been axed and another 10 to go before August 22, there is a strong camaraderie among the World Cup hopefuls.
While the remaining players at England's Pennyhill Park base are determined to claim their own place on the plane with their efforts on the training pitch and in the gym - off the field, there is no doubting the tremendous spirit.
And Haskell, who himself suffered the agony of being dropped ahead of the 2007 World Cup, claims that this will be vital for success in New Zealand.
Haskell, who will start at No.8 against Wales in the first World Cup warm-up games, told skysports.com: "There is a lot of competition of places so it is important that we get that balance right.
"What has made this team so successful is that we have kept that club environment."
James Haskell Quotes of the week
"You have to make sure you are as competitive as you can be and that you push yourself but when you come off the pitch you enjoy your downtime.
"What has made this team so successful is that we have kept that club environment. There are a lot of new guys here and we want to keep that going and that is what everyone is trying to do."
Haskell, who will move to Japan after the World Cup, will get the first chance to claim a spot in the squad when he lines up against the Welsh at Twickenham.
However, Haskell insists that it will take more than one eye-catching moment to secure a place, with it more important to prove you can do the basics right.
"It is about being consistent throughout and performing to the best of your ability," said Haskell.
"You are not trying to win the race yourself. It is not about doing anything flash because what made this team good during the Six Nations and what makes it good now is having guys fill their roles and performing to the best of their abilities.
"You can get man of the match awards, you can make some big carries and that but these moments come and go. What you can control is getting the big tackles in, getting your body over the ball then everything else is a bonus."
Haskell also believes that the England fans can play a huge role in cheering the side to success.
"We enjoyed the Six Nations because the fans got behind us and they enjoyed what they saw when we performed," he added.
"Having that as a player is great because when you play at Twickenham, it becomes a fortress and when you play away, we are outnumbering the opposition fans - and that is special."
James Haskell was speaking at an England team appearance to launch Get Up for England, with O2. Support the team and win a trip to New Zealand at www.GetUpforEngland.co.uk