The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Having lost to Australia the previous weekend, England now face the task on Saturday of trying to beat New Zealand, universally regarded as the best team in the world, to avoid an autumn whitewash by the southern hemisphere giants.
Yet Haskell believes team manager Johnson has assembled a squad of players who will prove the doubters wrong.
Haskell, in answer to accusations that the current squad were not up to the job, said: “We knew this was going to be a turbulent autumn internationals. We’re playing against the best teams in the world and we’re a new side.
“I’m not a big fan of making excuses. I hate doing it.
“But I think we do have something special here. We’ve got a great group of players. They are the best available and we’ll keep going forward.
“We almost scored some good points, all it took was one pass that didn’t go our way and that comes when you are a seasoned side.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day and we are going to keep progressing.
“It’s about final execution. We have a lot of talented players. Have this conversation in a year’s time and if we lose like this again then you have a valid point.”
Haskell believes Johnson should stick to the same game plan against New Zealand, who boast brilliant fly-half Dan Carter and back row forward Richie McCaw and who beat Wales 29-9 with a convincing second-half performance at the Millennium stadium on Saturday evening.
Haskell said: “I’m looking forward to playing against New Zealand and slowly building.
“People are going to try to pick holes but we are a collective here. We are building to something. We are going to go away and work. You have got to take your knocks.
“But we have got to have confidence in what we are trying to achieve and faith in the game plan that the coaches have put together and move forward.”
Haskell also confirmed the team’s support for clubmate and fly-half Danny Cipriani, whose charged-down kick led to South Africa’s first try on Saturday. He even insisted that several England players had the measure of their Springbok counterparts.
“I rate Danny very highly,” said Haskell. “He’s a great player.
“The whole team were under pressure. We created a lot of opportunities that could have been turned into tries but South Africa were able to capitalise on errors and turn them into points.
“But the passion was there, the intensity was there and the scoreline was flattering to South Africa. Certain (England) individuals had the better of their opposition.”