Haskell: Time for you to become an Aviva Premiership rugby first timer

Haskell: Time for you to become an Aviva Premiership rugby first timer

Haskell: Time for you to become an Aviva Premiership rugby first timer

James Haskell will play for England this month but the Wasps skipper has come a long way from the five-year-old who didn't understand the rules of the game.

Haskell started his rugby journey, which has seen him play in New Zealand, Japan and France, at Maidenhead Rugby Club in Berkshire aged just five.

He enlisted his mother's help to get him into the u7s squad and Haskell has never looked back since.

"My mum lied about my age to get me into the under seven team because I was too young," he said. "I was only about five and I remember my dad taking me down.

"One of my first memories was scoring a try, I remember being very excited but as I turned to look at one of the dads on the touchline, he told me I was a silly boy because I had touched down over my own try line."

Haskell's interview was part of a new campaign from Premiership Rugby and Aviva to welcome new supporters to Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

As part of the campaign Aviva and the Premiership Rugby clubs have teamed up to give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas.

Haskell is now encouraging the next generation of England stars to come down and enjoy the breakneck speed of an Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture.

"Aviva Premiership Rugby is non-stop action from start-to-finish, it's a rollercoaster, it has physicality, there's raw talent on show, mixed in with unbelievable skill," he added.

"It's about people putting their bodies on the line week-in-week-out – you see non-stop action. I think when people have experienced it; they will want to just keep going back.”

"My first Aviva Premiership game was against Harlequins, I didn't really know what to expect, I had nothing to compare it to – I wasn't nervous, I was just excited – there was a lot going on and a lot of hype around the game and me making my debut aged just 18 – it was a real shock to the system to be honest.”

"I didn't know I had been selected for England until Tom Palmer said he had seen my name at the top of an email, it was only when I ran out at the Millennium Stadium that I really knew what to expect of international rugby – I just couldn't stop smiling and with the roof closed, the noise was just deafening."

To see James Haskell talk about the Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers campaign click here

The Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers programme will give away almost 2,000 free tickets across every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas. First Timers can apply at www.premiershiprugby.com/avivafirsttimers.

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