James Haskell finds something to toast but flanker admits it hasn't felt like a World Cup at England's Surrey training base
England flanker James Haskell, skipper Chris Robshaw and Nick Easter seem to be toasting the end of their World Cup as they sit in the Etihad dressing room after beating Uruguay on Saturday.
Not too many England fans thought there was much to celebrate after watching England become the first hosts ever to fail to advance from the group stage.
But Haskell posted this picture to his Instagram account with the comment: ‘World Cup is over for us. It didn't end as any of us wanted, but that's professional sport. Always an honour to play for your country whatever happens.'
The lengthy post continues: 'Time to sit back and enjoy the rest of what the World Cup has to offer. Well I say sit back, I mean work my ass for @waspsrugby.
'Great to see all the boys today at the club. Looking forward to getting back in the mix with them. I love playing and striving to get better.'
Meanwhile, Haskell insists he will only enter World Cup mode once he is back at his club Wasps as reflects on a 'weird' tournament.
The hosts were knocked out of the competition by successive defeats to Wales and Australia before signing off with a meaningless rout of minnows Uruguay in Manchester on Saturday.
The trip north was the first time the squad had left their Surrey training base and the wisdom of remaining isolated while a World Cup being acclaimed as the greatest yet unfolded has been questioned.
'It's been a weird World Cup for me. I haven't seen a lot of rugby outside of England, so it hasn't really felt like a World Cup,' Haskell said.
'It will be interesting to leave camp, go back to my club and watch some of the World Cup - just get into that World Cup mode again.'
Haskell has no regrets over sharing a stage with Take That for England's high-profile official send-off despite the failure to progress from the group stage.
Members of the squad gathered at a sold-out The O2 to join the British pop band for a glitzy night of celebration held the week before the tournament began.
'Every team needs a send-off and ours was a great event. I know what you're alluding to - with all the grandeur, was it fitting for a team that got knocked out at the pool stage?' Haskell said.
'But it was an amazing event and it was great to connect with the fans. We did a whole load of meet and greet stuff and it was nice to give people an insight into what the team is all about.
'You need to break down those barriers between players and fans and I thought that event was a great success. But it's the old adage - if you talk the talk, you've got to deliver.'
Haskell believes it is the players and not the coaches who should be blamed for England's World Cup failure.
'Coaches are good - but they can't control a game from the stand however good they are. It's the players who have to go on to the pitch and perform,' Haskell said.
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