The British & Irish Lions latest recruit James Haskell has spoken to Pundit Arena about the moment he received the call, or in fact missed the call from Warren Gatland.
“I had some family up and we went for some food in Leamington and I went back to the car and I’d got a missed call from Warren. I wondered what I’d done wrong.
“I called him back and he basically just said that Billy had been injured…and did I want to go. I said, “Yes please!”, he said, “Sure?” and I said, “Yeah I definitely do, even if I have to carry the bags.”
Haskell talks about how he had been speaking to Saracens’ Billy Vunipola whose withdrawal opened the door for his England teammate. But while Haskell has been a big character in Eddie Jones’ successes at international level, he’s ready to acknowledge the pecking order when it comes to the Lions.
“I’m reduced to an academy level player at the Lions, I don’t know anything about it. I’m coming right in at the bottom. I just want to be humble, I want to learn, I want to be part of this group and respect everyone and just try to enjoy it.”
Given the attritional nature of big matches, Gatland will be keeping a close eye on his newest recruit as Wasps go into Saturday’s Premiership Final at Twickenham against Exeter Chiefs.