Rugby Union

Haskell was sent off after a high-tackle on Jamie Roberts .

James Haskell: My primary concern was for Jamie Roberts after sending off vs Harlequins

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James Haskell, although never asking to be a role-model, understands he has certain responsibilities as a professional athlete.

The Wasps and England backrow was sent-off for a dangerous tackle on Harlequins man Jamie Roberts last week.

But, Haskell admits that his thoughts were with Roberts in the immediate aftermath of the incident, rather than any potential repercussions he may have faced.

"My primary concern was that Jamie was still down there," Haskell told ESPN.

Haskell had waited on the touchline to make sure Roberts was okay, but now faces a four-match ban that will see him miss England’s opening two fixtures of the Six Nations.

"I thought it was important after, to put my hand up. People say I am a role model and we as sport people are role models. I never intended to be one but I appreciate people do watch my channel, do watch things.

"I said I made a mistake and expected to deal with the punishment of it. To be honest, the feelings were more of his concern and that Wasps lost. That is what mattered. Myself, and what was going to happen to me, I was always going to get cited, it was going to take care of itself."

Haskell now finds himself left out all together of Eddie Jones’ squad to face Italy in their Six Nations opener, and Haskell is under no illusions about how difficult it is to force a way back in to his plans.

"It is really tough," added Haskell.

Harlequins v Wasps -  Champions Cup

"I think not being being part of England is the hardest thing. Especially because the chances are few and far between. I was obviously left out before and I thought that was the end of it. I kind of fought my way back in.

"Will I get that opportunity? I don't know. I believe I will keep working to push to do that. Whether the coaches want me, whether I perform well enough, whether the lands perform, whether I am fit? Who knows."

Jones has selected eight uncapped players for the squad to face Italy, including loosehead props Alex Hepburn of Exeter and Harlequins’ Lewis Boyce.

England kick off the defence of their Six Nations crown in Rome on Sunday February 4.

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England Rugby
Aviva Premiership
James Haskell
Rugby Union
London Wasps
Six Nations

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