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Stage fright more of an issue for James Haskell on the decks than playing rugby

Haskell has played 77 times for England.

James Haskell admits to being afflicted by greater nerves when DJing in front of young farmers in May than when he runs out at Twickenham for England.

Haskell was given the first extended summer break of his career when he was rested for the June tour to South Africa and the veteran flanker took the opportunity to complete a dance music production course, travel and recover from the previous season.

The most daunting moment came in May when he took to the decks as the headline DJ at the Nation Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Annual Convention in Blackpool.

“It was incredible and probably the closest thing to playing a game,” said Haskell, who is preparing for his debut season at Northampton.

“You walk out at Twickenham to 80,000 people and don’t notice the crowd. When I walked out in Blackpool – and I underestimated this – there were 4,000 people and me.

“Their whole night was being defined whether I played good or bad music so when they start reacting well, it’s the best feeling in the world.

“When you DJ and play great music it makes you feel a million dollars, which is quite a nice experience.

“For the first time in my career I have had five weeks off, so maximised that. I followed the guys in South Africa, but I haven’t had too much to concern myself with.

“I’ve looked after my body and tried to switch off. Having been at Wasps for 12 years in total, I wanted to make sure I started at Saints in a good place.”

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