James Haskell wants to figure in the Autumn internationals
James Haskell admits he will be putting friendships aside as he targets Chris Robshaw's place in the England side for the autumn internationals.
England captain Robshaw played every minute of England's RBS 6 Nations campaign earlier this year, while Haskell, who has experience across the back row, has 51 England caps to his name.
The 29-year-old was named captain of club side Wasps over the summer and has enjoyed a strong start to the season, including coming up against Harlequins flanker Robshaw last Saturday in a narrow 26-23 defeat.
The Red Rose will face New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia this autumn as they step up their preparations for next year's RBS 6 Nations and the Rugby World Cup.
And with head coach Stuart Lancaster delaying naming his squad until 22 October to take account of early season form, Haskell is determined to throw his hat into the ring.
"I'm good friends with Chris, I've known him for years and I have the utmost respect for him. He's been a fantastic captain and is a great player," Haskell said.
"But I want his shirt, it's as simple as that. I want Tom Wood's shirt and any of those in the back row. People like Will Fraser are coming up on the outside as well.
"So of course when you play these guys you want to win the game and win the individual battle.
"Putting back the squad announcement has been great, it's really opened up the competition for everyone.
"It means players are picked on form. The England shirt is never yours and it's a level playing field."