England's Haskell criticises teammates

The 26-year-old has said that players who are underperforming should be singled out for criticism.

Haskell believes England are not playing to their potential.
Haskell believes England are not playing to their potential.

ENGLAND’S JAMES HASKELL has said his teammates are “letting themselves down” on account of their poor Rugby World Cup performances to date.

England scraped a win in their opening game, beating Argentina 13-9, and were also less than convincing in their game against Georgia.

Haskell, who was only starting the game as a result of a late injury to Nick Easter, claims they need to start dropping under-performing players. He said:

“It starts with identifying individuals. You only get one chance at a World Cup, so faffing around is not the way forward.”

He claimed the players were solely to blame for the team’s problems and indicated that the issue was as a result of their poor work ethic.

“Johnno is not happy, the coaches are not happy – the players need to look at themselves and realise they are not working as hard as they should be.

There has been widespread criticism of England’s negative tactics, with The Guardian’s Robert Kitson describing the excessively high penalty count against them in the Georgia game as “an embarrassment”.

And Haskell echoed these views, while adding that their current level of performance is not acceptable.

“People should be excited about this team, excited about our performances, but we are letting ourselves down. We are stuck in a bit of a mire.”

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Meanwhile, England have announced that they have called up New Zealand-born number eight, Thomas Waldrom, as cover for Nick Easter, who is currently suffering from a sore back.

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Paul Fennessy

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