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England flanker Haskell unfazed by criticism of him on social media

James Haskell is still determined to make social media a "positive environment" despite being mocked in the wake of England's victory over Italy.

Haskell continues in the back row for the penultimate round of the RBS 6 Nations on Saturday, when a resurgent Scotland visit Twickenham, hoping that his intentions are not misinterpreted once again.

The Wasps flanker's attempts to gain clarification from referee Romain Poite over Italy's no-rucking tactics at Twickenham a fortnight ago were savaged on social media, of which he is a prolific user.

Poite responded to one enquiry with the line "I am a referee, I am not a coach", but Haskell refuses to be embarrassed and will persevere with his ambition of making use of platforms like Twitter and Instagram a more pleasant experience.

"When anything happens, the passion of those following England comes out," Haskell said.

"If you ask people if they support rugby, they just say 'yeah, England'. People are quite surprised there is even a Premiership, let alone anything else.

"Everyone always comes out and gets very passionate. I'm on a one-man mission to make social media a positive environment so I try to be straight-talking and share my opinion.

"Some people like it, some people don't. That's why you've got a block button.

"You've got a have a really thick skin. Everything I do in those environments is for the best for the team. The thing with social media is that it has given everyone a voice.

"As we have learned by looking at certain things recently - I'd quite like to go to America so I won't go into too much detail - some people shouldn't necessarily be allowed to tweet and say what they want.

"There's that expression - opinions are like a********, everyone's got one and everyone thinks theirs doesn't stink."

Scotland's scrum has been an Achilles heel throughout the Six Nations and is sure to be targeted by England, although Haskell questions just how much front rows really do.

"It's always difficult for a back row player because props just love scrums. I don't know what they do up there - no-one knows what they do," Haskell said.

"They are a bit like mechanics. They make it sound super-complicated just so they can charge more money. Because you don't know how to fix your own car, you always end up paying through the roof.

"Props are a bit like that so I always give them stick. Every week scrums are important for us and a work on."

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