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James Haskell Blames 'British Empire' For Hatred Of English Rugby

James Haskell Blames 'British Empire' For Hatred Of English Rugby
By Arthur James O'Dea
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Fans of Irish rugby have become well-acquainted with the reality that in the build up to important fixtures, neither the coach nor his players will utter much of very interest.

Although England's Eddie Jones offers this premise something of a wild-card factor, James Haskell seems none-too-keen with keeping quiet as England look at ending an unprecedented two-game losing run.

Speaking ahead of Ireland's trip to Twickenham on St. Patrick's Day, the recalled Haskell pondered openly the question of why most nations take such joy in defeating England:

It’s what happens when you used to run the world isn’t it? It’s down to empire building. It got done a long, long time ago.

I never once got in my boat and said, ‘Right you’re part of Great Britain’. I can’t be held responsible for it.


The Wasps back row cited how such historical details became "an easy motivation factor for other sides because of the long, entrenched history."

With perhaps a level of self-awareness that is not often seen in elite sport, Haskell similarly accepts that "if you know your history we are partly to blame."


An interesting figure by all accounts, Haskell is actually looking forward to the post-match meeting between both sides on account of the connections forged during the recent Lions tour:

There are a lot of people who cross that whitewash and turn into absolute nightmares. Then when you see them off the field they are the loveliest bloke you have ever met.

Johnny Sexton was a really interesting guy. He’s a very passionate player, very on the line and a talisman for Ireland, but it was great to meet him. He’s a top guy, same with Conor Murray.

Tadhg Furlong was a great hugger. I should have guessed he would be. I shared a room with him and I was obviously looking a bit tired so he asked me if I wanted a hug.

I looked at him and said, ‘Come on then’ and it was just a really nice hug. That was quite nice. Then I put my clothes back on. That’s bonding on tour!

So, happy to admit historical misdemeanors and that Tadhg Furlong is a great hugger. They should get him talking more often.


See Also: Jamie Heaslip Was Baffled By Eddie O'Sullivan's 'White Boots' Warning

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