James Haskell upbeat about England return

James Haskell is fit again and raring to go for England
James Haskell is fit again and raring to go for England

Wasps back-row James Haskell said he is keen on resuming his England duties in the upcoming Six Nations 2017 campaign after a hiatus of seven months.

Haskell, who was named the player of the series during England's tour of Australia underwent a toe surgery following the second Test in Melbourne that ruled him out of action for the autumn internationals as well.

On his return for Wasps in the Aviva Premiership encounter against Leicester Tigers, Haskell was knocked out by a tackle from full-back Freddie Burns restricting his comeback game to just 35 seconds.

The 31-year-old is now set to be named on the bench by England coach Eddie Jones for Saturday's encounter against Guy Noves' men at Twickenham and Haskell insists he is fit and raring to go.

"I'm confident I am fine and so are the coaches here," Haskell said. "If I get the opportunity to take to the field or start the game then I will do my best.

"I have had six months of training, fitness and rehabilitation, and the way we train here is super intense. Yesterday's session was like an 80-minute game.

"I feel pretty prepared to do myself justice and to do the team justice. I would not play if I didn't think I could. I would put my hand up and say that I am just not ready because there are plenty of boys who are chomping at the bit and it is more important to put the team first."

Recalling the first time when he was dropped, Haskell is now again having his task cut out to be the preferred openside flanker with the rise of number of players including Northampton's Tom Wood. However, the Wasps star said he relishes the challenge and wants to continue playing for the red rose team as long as he could.

"The first time I was left out of the England squad when I went to Japan and I was watching on TV I thought the world was going to end," Haskell, who claims to have written 100,000-word book as well as performing a DJ set for students at Oxford Brookes University during his time out of the game, added.

"With this England squad, we've got so many good back-rows. I think always when you're in this squad you are always clinging on by your fingertips.

"There are probably a few guys that have got a firm foot and handhold but if you're aspiring to have an environment where you are brilliant at the basics, where you're really focused on trying to get results and are desperate to improve - and that's what this place is like - you always feel like you are one step away from being involved. Once you accept that and you don't think 'I should be involved' and let it take care of itself, that's fine.

"It's an addictive thing, you want to keep being involved, but I've got no power to select myself, otherwise I'd always be there, I'd be playing until I was 45."