Haskell determined to come back fitter than ever for England
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.
"The surgeon said four to six months, I will try to be pushing back for four."
The 31-year-old was instrumental for the Red Rose in their successful tour Down Under this summer, being named man of the series in England's 3-0 victory over Australia, despite missing the final Test.
But Haskell has had to go under the knife in recent weeks to have a piece of his sesamoid bone removed and some tendons re-attached, and is expected to be out of action for four to six months.
And with the English Premiership and Autumn Internationals on the horizon, Haskell is desperate to get back to full fitness as soon as possible, and return a better player than before.
"I had been playing for five or six games with anaesthetic in my foot towards the end of the season, because it just got more and more sore," he told Sky Sports.
"I saw a specialist and nothing else was going to happen to it but then, in that second Test, I must have weakened something called the plantar plate, and had to have an operation.
"I was in for about two and a half hours under the knife and the surgeon says he has done his best work.
"The most important thing for me is getting back for Wasps. I was captain last season, it is my favourite club in the world, and I am disappointed not to be there with the guys training.
"I have got two weeks with my foot up and then the rehab starts. Anyone will tell you who has been injured, it is way worse than any of the training, it is going to be quite flat-out.
"I will try to come back as fast as I can. The surgeon said four to six months, I will try to be pushing back for four.
"It is a long process but I am good at compartmentalising. I've been playing non-stop for 14 years, this is an opportunity to come back better and fitter."
Hear From the Man of the Series
After a successful 3-0 series win in Australia with England, James Haskell gives his view on the successful tour.
Australia – The Awards
With England flying home from Australia with a 3-0 series win to their name and the dust settling on an eventful three weeks of rugby, it's time for ESPN Scrum's end-of-tour awards.
Best Australia player:
Dane Haylett-Petty made great strides on his first appearances in the green and gold while Matt Toomua's performance in the third Test was superb. But two players stood above the rest: Israel Folau and Michael Hooper. Folau's ability to carve open defences with such subtleness is rivalled only by Ben Smith in world rugby while Hooper was a constant nuisance for England.
Hooper just edges Folau.
Best England player:
Any one of 15 could scoop this but Owen Farrell, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, Dan Cole, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers are just ahead of the rest. Farrell's kicking was remarkable while his performances in open play complemented his relentless accuracy off the tee. Robshaw was sensational in the second Test while Haskell is now indispensable in the openside role as showcased in the first two matches. Cole and Mako Vunipola have locked down both sides of the front-row while Itoje and Billy Vunipola continued to develop their unique skillsets. But on points importance alone,
Farrell just pips Haskell.
Jamie George's grubber for Farrell's series-clinching try in Melbourne was a wonderful piece of rugby initiative. His shin over the try line in the third Test was also impressive.
All three were pulsating Tests but the first Test just edges the other two for sheer ferociousness.
Best defensive stand:
England managed to hold out Australia for 20 phases at the end of the first half in Melbourne and it laid the foundations for their win. It was a remarkable effort.
Most unwelcome interference:
The 'Spider-Cam' which got in the way during the third Test.
Paul Gustard's decision to use 'The Guy in the Glass' as inspiration before the second Test was brilliant.
Eddie Jones' two calls in the first and third Test to haul players off before half time. In Brisbane it was Luther Burrell who got the hook after 29 minutes while Teimana Harrison had the same treatment after 31 in Sydney. Both were proven correct.
Haskell's hit on David Pocock inside the opening exchanges in Brisbane set England's stall out for the whole tour.
Haylett-Petty's against England in the third Test was a wonderful sweeping move and showed Australia at their best.
Though the pitch was terrible, the confines of Melbourne's AAMI Park delivered a remarkable, vibrant occasion.
Underestimating this England side. With Jones at the helm, they mean business.
Biggest Bodyline warrior:
Haskell. Tackled and ran himself into the ground.
Best ferry experience:
The ferry from Circular Quay to Manly is one of life's great experiences. The one to Watson's Bay isn't bad either.
Biggest foregone conclusion:
Dylan Hartley as British & Irish Lions captain for next June's tour of New Zealand.
Best media shindig:
The gathering put on by the Australian media in Sydney's Cricket Ground was a superb affair.
Team of the Month
The rugby365 team sat down, analysed the entire month's matches and came up the most consistent performers.
It should not be a major surprise that the top two teams in the world, New Zealand and England, dominate our famous selection.
The All Blacks provide the largest number of players for our starting XV - seven. England provide four players for our first-choice selection, while Ireland (two), South Africa and Australia (one each) make up the numbers.
There is further reward for the English in our back-up squad, with six English players bubbling under.
New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland (with two each), along with Wales and Australia (one each) provide the rest of our back-up squad.
Team of the Month:
15 - Israel Dagg (New Zealand)
Removed any doubt about his ability to still function at Test level.
Bubbling under: Israel Folau (Australia)
14 - Ben Smith (New Zealand)
Ruan Combrinck grabbed his chances and with more opportunities will surely challenge Smith for our right wing jersey.
Bubbling under: Ruan Combrinck (South Africa)
13 - Luke Marshall (Ireland)
And there were those profits of doom that suggested the void left by the departure of Brian O'Driscoll would not be filled. Maybe not the finished product, but certainly an exciting prospect.
Bubbling under: Jonathan Joseph (England)
12 - Owen Farrell (England)
He offers so much more than just an additional playmaker. His goal-kicking is also invaluable to the team.
Bubbling under: Ryan Crotty (New Zealand)
11 - Waisake Naholo (New Zealand)
When fit and in full flight he as an awesome sight to behold.
Bubbling under: Jack Nowell (England)
10 - Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
He didn't start out as first choice, but has certainly moved to the top of the New Zealand totem pole.
Bubbling under: Paddy Jackson (Ireland)
9 - Francois de Klerk (South Africa)
There are still those questioning his kicking game - and it is an issue - but there is no doubting the rest of his game, especially his energy and ability to rectify errors.
Bubbling under: Ben Youngs (England)
8 - Kieran Read (New Zealand)
Little doubt he is now the world's premier No.8.
Bubbling under: Billy Vunipola (England)
7 - James Haskell (England)
Clearly benefitting from the Eddie Jones way - playing some of his best rugby in years.
Bubbling under: Sam Warburton (Wales)
6 - Scott Fardy (Australia) One of the few Wallabies who consistently matched the English for desire and skill
Bubbling under: Chris Robshaw (England)
5 - Devin Toner (Ireland)
Showed, throughout the series, that he is so much more than just a line-out specialist
Bubbling under: Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
4 - Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
Another All Black who is a step or two ahead of his peers in his position.
Bubbling under: Maro Itoje (England)
3 - Dan Cole (England)
The cornerstone of his team's scrum in a series whitewash.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)
2 - Dane Coles (New Zealand)
Pace and skill in abundance, with the drive that makes All Blacks the best.
Bubbling under: Rory Best (Ireland)
1 - Mako Vunipola (England)
One of the powerhouses in an England pack the laid the foundation for the series whitewash.
Bubbling under: Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Haskell wins International Respect in Australia
Haskell wins international respect following his amazing efforts in Australia
Rugby World Cup winner Josh Lewsey thinks former England Captain Chris Robshaw and James Haskell surprised everybody with their play in England's series win in Australia.
Hear what he has to say
Hask Cam in Camp
England’s star back row man James Haskell takes the controls of the player cam for O2 Inside Line.
Watch HERE as he takes you behind the scenes, reveals a few surprising nicknames and catches up with Billy Vunipola on his fitness routine.
Banning Tackling in Schools? It’s Nonsensical
Read James important Interview in this month’s edition of Teach Primary about the vexed issue of tackling in rugby within schools.
Teach Primary is the magazine which keeps readers up to date with what the best leaders, advisers and practitioners are thinking and doing in education.
There’s insightful opinion and lively debate from our columnists on what’s going right and wrong with schools, creative activities and theories to try out in the classroom and in-depth profiles that show how top-performing schools get the best results.
Six Brits in Composite All Blacks Team
Jerome Kaino of the All Blacks and James Haskell of England would both make Wynne Gray's composite XV. Photo / Getty Images.
If the All Blacks and England continue to dominate their rugby horizons, anticipation will surge about their square-off-late next year at the earliest.
Former hooker Brian Moore is one critic who thinks England have bridged the gap from potential to a genuine threat to the All Blacks global supremacy.
England have risen to No 2 in the rankings after their away series win against the Wallabies which was confirmed by an unyielding discipline in attitude and defence.
A number of England's reworked squad have excelled and would win selection in a composite All Black/England mix from the tests we have seen in June.
Some players like Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Owen Farrell have switched roles but we can pick them in their best position while others like Aaron Cruden have been injured or like Malakai Fekitoa subbed early.
But here's a best composite XV to digest:
Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read ©, James Haskell, Jerome Kaino, Brodie Retallick, Maro Itoje, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Mako Vunipola.
Australia v England: James Haskell and Jack Nowell set to miss final Test
James Haskell and Jack Nowell are set to miss England's third and final Test against Australia in Sydney.
Flanker Haskell - who made 21 tackles in Saturday's history series-clinching victory in Melbourne - left AAMI Park wearing a protective boot.
Wing Nowell suffered a head injury in the 23-7 win, and will go through the concussion return-to-play protocols.
Both men are unlikely to be considered for selection as England look to seal a 3-0 whitewash next Saturday.
Australia vs. England PLAYER RATINGS
England secured their first ever Test series win in Australia as they downed the Wallabies 23-7 in a brutal encounter in Melbourne.
Eddie Jones' side produced wave after wave of heroic defence to keep those in green and gold at bay on a night to remember for the Red Rose.
Here, Sportsmail's Sam Peters rates how the players from both teams fared...
Mike Brown (rep Elliot Daly 77) – Still not at his best with ball in hand and made some flawed decisions but still provided snarl and defensive excellence. 7
Anthony Watson – Would have liked more ball but still produced a first-rate shift and tackled out of his skin. 7
Jonathan Joseph – Another England wide man who has more to come in attack but defensively flawless throughout series. 7
Owen Farrell – One of several players to take his game to a new level under Eddie Jones. Provides critical ballast alongside Ford. 9
Jack Nowell – Unlucky to miss out on first Test selection but an integral part of an England squad who showed all-round qualities. 8
George Ford – Looks a completely different player when shorn of goal-kicking duties. Controlled proceedings and tackled out of his skin. 9
Ben Youngs (rep Danny Care 66) – Another player who has stepped up his game under Jones and now looks to have secured England starting no9 spot. 8
Mako Vunipola (rep Matt Mullan 66) – Impossible to see Joe Marler reclaiming his loosehead spot after another titanic display by the hefty Saracen. 8
Dylan Hartley (rep Jamie George 72) – His left-field selection as captain has been a defining factor in England renaissance. No praise too high. 9
Dan Cole (rep Paul Hill 66) – Destructive scrummaging performance by the Leicester tighthead. Complete domination of opposite man Slipper. 8
Maro Itoje – English rugby’s greatest find since Martin Johnson. Has yet to produce anything less than a world-class display in England shirt. 9
George Kruis (rep Courtney Lawes 56) – Not his easiest ride in line-out with Fardy putting heat on but still a decent shift from an excellent young player. 7
Chris Robshaw (rep Joe Launchbury 72) – A second successive outstanding display by the former captain showed all his dogged resilience and character. 8
James Haskell (rep Jack Clifford 72) – A defining series for a player whose progress under Jones has been extraordinary. This will be remembered as his series. 10
Billy Vunipola – Another world-class display by England’s wrecking ball No8. Can now lay claim to being among very the best in the world. 9