Haskell: 'England have come a long way'

James Haskell says England have come a long way under Eddie Jones having won back-to-back RBS 6 Nations titles, despite being denied the Grand Slam by Ireland in Dublin. 

Haskell was part of the England side in 2011 that won the Championship but mised out on the Grand Slam in Dublin however the Wasps back row says much has changed since then.  

"It’s not about comparisons because 2011 was a long time ago," said Haskell, who won his 75th cap against Ireland.

"In sport you have got to move forward, there is no point looking back. This is a dry run for other things to come and we will learn from it.

"Eddie and his coaching staff have a long-term project for 2019. I hate losing but at the end of the day this team has come a long, long way."

Despite the dissapointment of losing 13-9 in the final fixture of the competition, Haskell says there are plenty of positives to take from how the side have developed. 

"We are 18 from 19 and that’s better than any record since I’ve been involved with England so there are definitely positives. 

"We have worked so hard, it has been eight weeks of unbelievable training. Everyone has sweated and bled to get to this point and you have to take the positives."

'A springboard to improve' 

Haskell's comments were echoed by teammate Joe Launchbury who said the team will aim to use the pain of losing in Dublin to their advantage.

"Losses don’t always have to be the end of the world, you can use them in the right way," said Launchbury. "Hopefully we will use it as a springboard to improve. 

"We’re still quite early in our journey. It’s been just over 12 months since Eddie has been here and hopefully in another 12 months time you are going to see a different side and a more accomplished side and that’s where we want to get to."