Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Lancaster: Haskell to make quick impact

Stuart Lancaster has backed James Haskell (pictured) to make an impact for England

England coach Stuart Lancaster expects returning flanker James Haskell to slot in well to his new-look squad.

The national side has undergone a transformation under Lancaster since Haskell was last involved during last autumn's terrible World Cup campaign. The 27-year-old did not feature as Lancaster's tenure began with this year's RBS 6 Nations as he opted to play club rugby in Japan and New Zealand.

Lancaster has never previously worked with Haskell, but when asked if he expected the player to fit in with his new regime, said: "I spoke one to one with James Haskell [on Sunday night], it was a positive meeting."

After rejoining former club Wasps for next season, Lancaster included Haskell in his 42-man party for the upcoming three-Test series in South Africa.

And following the completion of his stint with Highlanders, Haskell has now joined up with the squad training in Durban ahead of Saturday's first Test.

Lancaster added: "Since the World Cup he has been at different clubs in different environments and, as he said to me, he is very keen to come in and make a good impression and force his way into the Test team. That is his aim.

"He is delighted to be here and very keen to put his front foot forward.

"He spoke of his experiences playing against the Super 15 sides and I talked him through the journey of the Six Nations, the training camp and where we are as a group.

"It was nice to meet him one to one and work with him."

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