Haskell 'still finding his feet'
Flanker James Haskell is happy having to prove himself for England all over
The experienced forward, who is to rejoin Wasps next season, has not been part of the international scene since last year's World Cup after opting to play club rugby in Japan and New Zealand.
He was therefore absent as new head coach Stuart Lancaster rebuilt the England squad with a host of fresh faces for the RBS 6 Nations.
Haskell's decision to return to his first club after a three-year absence paved the way for a comeback on this summer's tour of South Africa but he accepts he cannot walk straight back into the side.
The 27-year-old said: "I am in no rush to do anything.
"The autumn internationals, after coming back to the Premiership, are probably the long-term goal.
"Here, it is just to make sure I come in, live up to Stuart's expectations and fit in.
"I have 42 caps but I am right at the bottom of the ladder here.
"With the guys coming through, experience doesn't really count for a lot in this squad. I am just trying to find my feet.''
Haskell has been playing abroad since joining Stade Francais in 2009.
Since then the Rugby Football Union have adopted a general policy of not picking players based overseas.
Haskell was well aware of this when he joined Tokyo-based Black Rams, and then Otago Highlanders, last year but he insists his desire to play for England never waned.
He said: "I have always said the reason I play rugby is to play for my country. As a player, you want to play for that shirt.
"That was never in doubt in my mind and being part of what is a new, exciting set-up is always a big thing."
Haskell had never worked with Lancaster until meeting up with the England squad in South Africa last week.
It was felt in some quarters he may not easily fit in given his connection to the old regime - which ended in embarrassment after the controversy-marred World Cup campaign - but Haskell has dismissed that.
Haskell said: "When Stuart invited me into the squad it was very much about rebuilding the squad together. They are on a new path.
"If it meant coming in and working the way Stuart wanted to work that was very exciting for me. It means a lot to me.''
Haskell noticed immediately the squad's mentality was vastly different from that at the World Cup, which from England's point of view is only remembered for poor performances and off-field incidents.
He said: "I think it is possibly something that needed to happen.
"I was worried when I came in that everybody would just be doing what they were told to do but guys are genuinely out on fields, doing extras, wanting to work, wanting to improve.
"That mentality has been brought about and people are being competitive.
"I think people always cared about England but it maybe just needed that little tweak."
Having arrived after the rest of the squad due to his commitments with Highlanders, Haskell was not considered for the first Test defeat in Durban last Saturday.
His first action of the tour will come in the midweek game against the relatively unknown Southern Barbarians in Kimberley.
Haskell, who made his England debut in 2007, now feels a much better player for his foreign experiences.
He said: "It has helped me grow up a little bit off the field and see different mentalities, different approaches to games, what works and what doesn't work, and ultimately how I fit into things.
"I think for any player playing outside of Europe is a valuable experience, especially in the Super 15.
"Once you reach a certain age as a player and have been around for a while the differences are only in small percentages.
"What I think my little differences are are in consistency, game understanding, decision-making - some of the stuff that is not so tangible to put your finger on but I feel a difference.''
A good performance in Kimberley could put Haskell in the frame for a Test recall before the end of the tour, but he is not entertaining that thought yet.
He said: "You are not guaranteed a shirt, you have to fight for it. With me on tour, I just want to play on Wednesday."