Haskell says new signings brings more pressure

Date published: September 1 2016

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The signings of several big name players will add to the pressure on Wasps to perform this season, says James Haskell. 

Among the high-profile players to join this season are Kurtley Beale, Willie Le Roux, Danny Cipriani and Kyle Eastmond. These signings have made Wasps second favourites behind defending champions Saracens to claim this season's Premiership title.

Haskell said the pressure was now on the players to justify the hype.

"It is very exciting for the club. Obviously Wasps have had a huge turnaround from where we were three or four years ago. Boys weren't getting paid, things were pretty negative and the club almost had to fold," Haskell told Sky Sports News HQ.

"Derek Richardson, the owner, came in and relocated us to Coventry. We've had some amazing reaction to that. So many fans are travelling from the old days. We are getting 17,500 people to games.

"Accordingly we have signed some big, exciting players – Danny (Cipriani) being one of them. He is one of the best fly-halves in England. It will be really good to get to see him firing. 

Kurtley Beale is one of the best-known players in world rugby. We've got Willie Le Roux coming. I think it will be great but it does pile more pressure onto us. We have to make sure we perform," Haskell said.

Wasps finished third in the table last season before losing 34-23 to Exeter Chiefs in the play-off semi-finals.

Haskell, who is facing four to six months out after he required reconstructive surgery on his big toe, is determined to help bring back silverware to the club.

"We went well last season but we fell at the final hurdle," said the 31-year-old.

"Lots of boys don't play to take part, they play for silverware. I was lucky enough in my early career to have those opportunities and we are all super hungry to get back to those days."

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