James Haskell claims English rugby team aren't as arrogant as fans make out

Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors

England rugby international James Haskell has never been one to shy away from sharing his opinions surrounding the goings-on in the rugby world, on and off the pitch.

In a recent JOE's House of Rugby podcast, the England flanker gave his thoughts on the common perception among rugby fans that England are arrogant, but says that the players all do their best to show the complete opposite. 

"I'm always interested in the English arrogance thing," he said.

"Just having been lucky enough to play for England and it's something that's leveled against the team a lot.

"I found playing for England, we're often apologetic. It's the complete opposite."

The Northampton Saints player even added that he himself has witnessed displays of arrogance from other countries, that England players wouldn't get away with.

"We're often on the receiving end of quite a lot of what I would class as arrogance.

"But actually, I've seen things against teams I've played for where I'm thinking 'if I did that or I conducted myself in that way, it would be a nightmare, it would be in the newspaper'."

Haskell even goes on to suggest a reason for fans' disdain against England.

Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors

"You know why everyone hates England, because of 500 years of empire-building.

"Nobody likes England and that's something you come to terms with as a player.

"Everyone wants to beat you, there's nothing better than beating England and everyone says 'arrogant English'."

And despite what fans may think, and perhaps how former England legacy players may have conducted themselves, Haskell pointed out that they rarely celebrated their victories under Eddie Jones, up until their Grand Slam win in 2016.

Northampton Saints Training Session

Even though Jones instructed the players to 'embrace the arrogance', Haskell points out that in photos and the like, it was strictly business.

"If you watch back all the footage, whether we're posing for pictures of the Calcutta Cup or whatever, there was no smiles, just business," he explained 

"No celebrating, no whooping, no in your face and it was the same in Australia - finish the game, business."

The upcoming November internationals, and 2019 Six Nations, will tell if the bias has changed. 

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