James Haskell says he isn't a fan of Ireland's trademark choke tackle 8 years ago

James Haskell says he isn't a fan of Ireland's trademark choke tackle

England flanker James Haskell has waded in on the choke tackle debate that has been raging for the last couple of days, by saying it's not a tactic he likes to use.

Ireland's trademark defensive move, which involves tackling the ballcarrier around the chest and holding the upright to create a maul, has been criticises heavily by Welsh defensive coach Shaun Edwards, who called it "dangerous", and "a blight on the game".


With Ireland due to face England this Sunday, it was only natural that the question would be put to the English players, and flanker James Haskell has had his say.

BT Sport say the player has declared he isn't a fan of the tactic, and that it's not something encouraged by their defence coach Andy Farrell.

However, England are no strangers to the choke tackle, something the used effectively in the final play of the game in their 21-16 win against Wales on the opening weekend of the championship.

Haskell said: "I know Shaun Edwards has come out saying it should be banned and he knows what he's talking about, but while it's a rule it's a rule.


"Some teams can employ it as a tactic. Andy Farrell is our defence coach and he never talks about using it.

"We're all about being physical and getting guys to ground and I much prefer doing that."

Haskell says that he's far more comfortable going low, leaving less margin for error. Indeed, the try England conceded to Wales on that opening weekend of the championship came as a result of a missed Haskell tackle, when he went in too high on Toby Faletau.

"It's not a skill I look to use, I'd much rather be a leg tackler and destructive tackler," Haskell said.


"My focus was always leg tackling - I came out of the Joe Worsley school of tackling. I learnt a lot from him."

However Haskell doesn't have tunnel vision on the issue, and conceded that when opportunity knocks, it's a technique that has to be considered.

"I don't think it's a game-changer and it won't decide Sunday's game, but it is a useful tool and while it is a rule you have to be good at it.

"If you hit someone high and someone else hits them low and there's an opportunity to hold them up, you have to do it."