â00The problem with starting a new season is that youâ00ve got to take small steps to get back to where you were,â0 said Haskell, who has been named in Englandâ00s Elite Player Squad having made his international debut against Wales in Cardiff in February 2007.
â00You canâ00t go straight back to the kind of form you had at the end of last season. Iâ00m not even sure if Iâ00m going to be in the team for the first game against London Irish.
â00Iâ00m trying to find my feet and get my nose to grindstone to get into the London Wasps team let alone worry about everything else because in rugby, as with most things in life, if you look too far ahead youâ00ll come unstuck pretty quickly.â0
Haskell was in impressive form throughout his clubâ00s 2007/08 Guinness Premiership-winning season, with many supporters and former players expecting him to become a mainstay in the England back row for years to come.
He has already been touted as a possible Test starter when the Lions take on the Springboks in just over nine monthsâ00 time but the 6ft 4in, 17-and-a-half stone flanker/No8 is under no illusions as to what must lie at the heart of any possible future success.
James Haskell is one of England's rising stars
â00Hard work is what itâ00s all about. Itâ00s about putting the extra effort in and also having a little bit of luck come your way. Most of that you can generate yourself by working hard and not being so anxious and uptight.
â00In the last few pre-season games, thereâ00s been a few positives but, from a personal point of view, it hasnâ00t gone as well as I wanted it to. Iâ00ve just got to make sure I take stock and keep working hard.â0
Any Lions tour features the ultimate in competition for places, but Haskell is fully aware that he faces a similarly daunting task just to maintain a regular place in the Wasps back row â00 something he knows is a must if England and the Lions are to come calling.
â00Weâ00ve got some quality back row players here at Wasps. Itâ00s tough enough to get into the Wasps team, let alone anything else.
â00Competition can bring the best out of you. If youâ00ve got designs to be successful and to play for a good club and further your career, youâ00ve got to rise to those challenges.
â00With Wasps, thereâ00s challenges everyday and I really am solely focussed on that. Thatâ00s all Iâ00m concerned with because you canâ00t take anything for granted at all.â0