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Haskell: “We must focus on ourselves”

Having recently returned to the field after time on the sidelines, James Haskell is hoping Wasps can start to stamp their authority on the league in the coming weeks.

This weekend, Wasps travel to Kingsholm looking to make it four wins in a row in all competitions.

Haskell says that while there are not many harder trips to make, he and his teammates must concentrate on their own game.

“We haven’t won at Gloucester for a fair few years. They are a very good side and have some of the most dangerous young players in the game. I think that it is important that we respect everything that they do; they have some big forwards, a strong back row and a very dangerous back three. We have to be very careful, but I think that we are a team that must maintain a focus on ourselves, making sure that we get our own game plan in place. At times this season we have been our own worst enemies. The coaches are spot on in terms of what they are trying to implement, everyone is working very hard and we all want to go to Gloucester and do ourselves proud.”

Last weekend Haskell came off the bench in the 60th minute to help his side record a 22-12 win over Leicester Tigers. Having played against Tigers on a number of occasions over the years, including a Powergen Cup Semi Final, a Premiership Final and a Heineken Cup Final, Haskell understands how important a win against one of the Club’s oldest rivals means, but says that a third win in a row, following two resounding victories in the Amlin Challenge Cup, was far more important to this group of players.

“To beat a side of the calibre of Leicester, albeit missing some internationals, is very important for this Club. However, it was sort of irrelevant who we were playing at the weekend - it was more important that we backed up our performances in Europe with a win going back into the Premiership. We, as a team, need to start doing ourselves justice because we have lost by narrow margins to some good teams but we should have won some games that we haven’t. It was important just to get back winning. Any sportsman will tell you that the world is a better place when you come in on a Monday having won.”

Haskell says that this group of players have a confidence in their ability and have an innate awareness that, if they can pull together an 80 minute performance, they will be a match for any side.

“We do have a confidence in our ability and believe that we can go and beat these sides. If you get beaten by a better team on the day then fair enough, but if you look back at the games we have lost this season, often by narrow margins, the error count has been too high and that is even more frustrating. There is always a lot of talk about the potential this side has but we want to make sure that we make that come to fruition.”

This piece is an extract from this week’s edition of The Buzz, London Wasps’ official ezine. To avoid missing out on exclusive content in the future sign up for The Buzz here.

London Wasps travel to Kingsholm this weekend to face Gloucester rugby. To purchase tickets click here.

The team then return to Adams Park on Friday 8 November to take on Saracens. To secure your place at the game click here.