England flanker James Haskell insists his team will not be buying into the mystique surrounding the All Blacks on tour.
England flanker James Haskell insists his team will not be buying into the mystique surrounding the All Blacks ahead of the June Tests series.
Haskell is the most capped member of the advance tour party that left England on Tuesday and his experience of playing a Super Rugby season in New Zealand makes him a nature leader in the squad.
England must face the reigning World Champions in first Test in Auckland on June 7 without a number of first-choice players involved in this weekend's English Premiership final, but the former Highlanders flanker says he will draw on some valuable lessons learnt during his time in Dunedin.
“Having been there and played I discovered that Kiwi rugby players are human,” Haskell told NZ Newswire before flying out on Tuesday.
“They make mistakes like everybody else and they are normal even though people would have you believe that they aren't.
“Playing New Zealand is just the same as any other team – it just appears the stakes are a bit bigger. Not getting fooled by the magic of the All Blacks is probably the key.”
England's last visit to New Zealand, during the 2011 World Cup, proved to be an unhappy one but the Wasps blindside , who has 50 Test caps, says this group will do their country proud.
“There's very few guys left over. It's a completely different management team, atmosphere, thought process and general approach,” added Haskell.
“It's going to be very exciting for us to go back there and give a good account of ourselves.”