Aspirational England on Track
James Haskell has told Sportinglife.com that the "aspirational" atmosphere created by Eddie Jones has England on the right track towards the "ultimate goal" of winning the World Cup.
Jones has led England to Grand Slam success in the Six Nations and a 3-0 series victory in Australia since taking over from Stuart Lancaster as head coach at the end of 2015.
Haskell has played a key role in the unbeaten run under Jones'leadership and he's explained how the Australian has got England up to second in the World Rugby Rankings following the hugely disappointing exit from the 2015 World Cup in the group stage.
"Eddie understands more than anyone exactly what it takes to get the best out of your players and how some guys need the carrot and some guys need the stick," Haskell told Sportinglife.com."There's an atmosphere that's very aspirational but also one that has got a lot of fun in it."
“There are great coaches in the set-up and no stone is left unturned in our endeavour. It's been really good as Eddie doesn't mess around."
“The team were fantastic (in the series win over Australia). I think it was a very hard place to go and there weren't any expectations when we went there so we took the opportunity to plug away and get on with our business quietly."I don't think anyone gave his half a chance but we went in there and it all worked out well in the end."
Haskell admits England need to put right their previous failings when the 2019 World Cup takes place in Japan and he says its glory rather than caps that motivates the current set of players in Jones'squad."The team that gets to the World Cup will look quite different to how we are now but every time we get an opportunity to put on the shirt there will be more and more progress made towards the ultimate goal of winning the World Cup."
“There's so much rugby to come but some of the guys have had the opportunity to go to a couple of World Cups and they haven't gone as well as hoped."There's no point having loads of caps if you don't win anything."
“We've had the opportunity to win a Grand Slam but we're not even halfway along the road so we're excited to see where we get to."
Haskell is currently on the comeback trail after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his big toe.The injury ruled the 31-year-old out of the third Test of the 3-0 series success against Australia but the Wasps flanker is looking at the positives as he targets a possible return to action in December."When I first got told by the surgeon what was going on I had my head in my hands and then I went away for two weeks to Ibiza and came back seeing the whole thing as an opportunity to come back better, more mobile, eat better and work harder,"
Haskell added."I've still got a few months to go but I saw the surgeon recently and he was very positive about everything which is nice."I've just been keeping my head down and working hard and I don't know yet (on a return date)."I'm just doing what I'm told to get myself out of this protective boot and start running again. Maybe it will be the beginning of December but it's still up in the air really."
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