James Haskell: “England can win Six Nations”
Despite trailing at half time, England came out against Scotland at Twickenham and were confident that they could do a job. In the second half, they were patient in their probing, with the irrepressible George Ford pulling the strings.
The 21-year-old, who also scored against Scotland, will be a key component as England host France in what will be an exciting climax to the 2015 Six Nations. James Haskell looked on as Stuart Lancaster’s side squandered a number of opportunities as England won the Calcutta Cup 25-13, though is confident that they can rack up a big score if necessary.
It could well come down to goal difference again, and there is symmetry to last year, when it was Ireland who needed to beat France in the final game to win the tournament. England, odds-on at 4/6 with Coral to win the Six Nations this year, who had already played, could only watch on as Joe Schmidt’s side achieved a narrow 22-20 victory in Paris.
“The positive is that we created so many chances [against Scotland],” Haskell said. “It’s been a long, long time since we made so many clean line breaks.
“If the other teams set us a big target, we can be confident that we have the firepower to get there. You look at our back line and we’ve got pace, footwork, ability to finish off tries. When it all clicks, when that ruthless edge comes, we will be a very difficult side to play.”
Speaking about the defeat to Ireland, Haskell admitted he was downcast: “It was difficult losing to Ireland two weeks ago because I genuinely thought we could win the Grand Slam this year. That is such a miracle thing to do.
“To win the Six Nations is almost a second prize, but it’s still amazing because it’s such a rare thing. You can go your whole career without winning one.
“We obviously won one when we lost to Ireland in 2011. It was weird because we lost very heavily, lost the Grand Slam but then got awarded the trophy. That was difficult.
“It would be great to play well at Twickenham against France, get the win and enjoy that celebration to lay down a marker for the future.”