Rugby Union

Haskell currently plays for Northampton, after two previous spells with Wasps.

James Haskell speaks on facing Brian O'Driscoll for the first time ever

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Former Wasps and England flanker James Haskell has spoken on what it was like to first face off against the legendary Brian O'Driscoll.

Haskell, who currently plays for Northampton Saints, after two previous spells - and 12 years - with Wasps, first encountered O'Driscoll in 2008, when England faced off against Ireland in a European Cup encounter. 

Speaking on JOE's House of Rugby podcast, Haskell recalled what it was like to first face off against the legendary outside centre, and the effect it has had on his career since. 

"They [O'Driscoll and New Zealand's Tana Umaga] are two of my favourite players. I love them," he said.

"I've met Tana quite a few times and he's incredible. And Brian O'Driscoll is probably the best player I've ever played against. 

"I remember that time when I first played against him, at Leinster. He chipped one over the top of Voycey [Tom Voyce] and then went and [kicked it] over and scored. I was like 'right, well, what happened?!'"

O'Driscoll, who is widely regarded as one of the finest players ever to grace the game, is the second most-capped player in rugby union history, having played in a total of 141 Test matches - 133 of which came for Ireland, with a further eight coming for the British and Irish Lions. 

The Dublin-born former Leinster player also captained Ireland between 2003 and 2012, scoring 46 tries throughout his illustrious career. 

Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll (R) runs with

Haskell, on the other hand, has made 77 appearances for England, as well as a total of over 250 career appearances for Wasps, Stade Francais, Ricoh Black Rams, Highlanders and Northampton Saints, across his 16-year career. 

The Northampton flanker also faces an extended period on the sidelines, having recently undergone surgery on an ankle injury, which could see him miss up to 10 weeks of action. 

Losing their new signing is a major blow for The Saints, who are currently languishing in ninth in the table, following just two wins from their first six matches of the season. 

Topics:
Six Nations
Aviva Premiership
England Rugby
Ireland Rugby
Brian O'Driscoll
James Haskell
Rugby Union
Wasps
Northampton Saints

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