James Haskell Is Bluntly Honest About Not Getting Lions Place

James Haskell Is Bluntly Honest About Not Getting Lions Place
By PJ Browne

Peter O'Mahony being parachuted into the Ireland starting line-up for the final game of the Six Nations against England had knock-on effects not just for Joe Schmidt's side but also for other players contending for a back row spot in the Lions squad.

Ireland would likely not have won that day against England had it not been for O'Mahony's influential presence, especially in the lineout.

Speaking to The Times, James Haskell, one of O'Mahony's rivals for a spot in the 41-man squad, was honest about his non-selection. Though he performed well in the Six Nations, the England flanker recognised it was not good enough and that others, like O'Mahony, deserve their place.

I don’t really like to make excuses. I thought I played well in the Six Nations and put myself out there. Could I have done any more? Not really. I just wasn’t good enough in their eyes. Excuses might give you comfort at night but it’s down to facts.

Ireland v England had a massive role to play in it; O’Mahony played his way in. Moriarty played his way in during Wales v England. It’s about peaking at the right time and seizing your opportunity. I failed to do that.

Though he's certainly still in with a chance of being part of the touring party for New Zealand, given how often injuries occur both prior to and during Lions tours, Haskell says he's accepted that he is not meant to be a Lion.

I’ve tried my best every year. In 2009 I had an opportunity; this year I had an opportunity. In 2013 I wasn’t in contention so I wasn’t meant to be a Lion. A lot of people, like myself, are always out of arm’s reach.

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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