James Haskell admits pressure is on Wasps this season
James Haskell talks injury, England and Wasps, and also answered your questions live
James Haskell admits the pressure will be on Wasps to perform this season following the arrival of several high-profile signings this summer.
Kurtley Beale, Willie Le Roux, Danny Cipriani and Kyle Eastmond have all made the move to Coventry, joining the likes of Elliot Daly, Christian Wade and Joe Simpson in a back-line brimming with danger men.
The addition of all that attacking talent has seen Wasps installed as second favourites behind champions Saracens to win this season's Aviva Premiership title and Haskell says the onus is now on the players to justify the hype.
Haskell told Sky Sports News HQ: "It is very exciting for the club. Obviously Wasps have had a huge turnaround from where we were three or four years ago. Boys weren't getting paid, things were pretty negative and the club almost had to fold.
"Derek Richardson, the owner, came in and relocated us to Coventry. We've had some amazing reaction to that. So many fans are travelling from the old days. We are getting 17,500 people to games.
"Accordingly we have signed some big, exciting players - Danny (Cipriani) being one of them. He is one of the best fly-halves in England. It will be really good to get to see him firing.
"Kurtley Beale is one of the best-known players in world rugby. We've got Willie Le Roux coming.
"I think it will be great but it does pile more pressure onto us. We have to make sure we perform."
Wasps finished third in the table last season before losing 34-23 to Exeter Chiefs in the play-off semi-finals.
Haskell won Premiership and Heineken Cup titles with Wasps early in his career but the club have not tasted silverware since he returned to begin his second stint with the team in 2012.
That is something Haskell, who is facing four to six months out after he required reconstructive surgery on his big toe, is determined to change.
"We went well last season but we fell at the final hurdle," said the 31-year-old.
"Lots of boys don't play to take part, they play for silverware. I was lucky enough in my early career to have those opportunities and we are all super hungry to get back to those days."