Former England flanker James Haskell opened up about his diagnosis for the first time - Ruck

Former England flanker James Haskell opened up about his diagnosis for the first time

James Haskell, who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of eight, has impressively organized his life to accommodate his condition, despite knowing very little about it.

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During a recent interview, the former England rugby player, who is now a DJ, podcaster, author, and cage fighter, opened up about ADHD for the first time.

In the interview with George Simms, he admitted that he has never actively worked to understand his diagnosis but unintentionally manages its symptoms.

He took Ritalin for nine years, but had to stop when he was selected for England’s 2003 U19 Six Nations squad, as it is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“This is the first interview I’ve done about ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder],” he told I News.

“I’ve talked more about it now than I ever have before.”

“I’ve done some pretty stupid s**t”, he added, yet he is now perhaps the highest-profile British athlete to discuss their diagnosis at length.

“Now I’ve retired, I struggle with the monotony of doing one consistent thing,

“In rugby, there was never an end. You could always get better, do more. If I had good coaches and purposeful training, I never got bored. If I hadn’t had sport as a spine to support everything I did, everything would have been much worse.

“MMA was an opportunity to push myself physically, but still perform with a big crowd,

“DJing is performing in front of a crowd. Writing books and podcasting are both storytelling, performing. Everything I do is centred around performing, danger, testing yourself, basically getting paid to be an attention seeker.”

We recommend you read the full interview here.

James Haskell ranks his 5 toughest opponents

England legend James Haskell has ranked his five toughest opponents from his incredible rugby career.

#1. Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

Lifting the 2011 World Cup in his backyard was a fitting tribute to one of the greatest ever All Blacks, but he went on to secure true legendary status as he continued for four more years, breaking record after record and uniquely hoisting the Webb Ellis trophy for a second time.

Haskell said: “The thing that has stood out for me is his decision-making at the breakdown,  knowing when to compete for the ball, to clear out or to get back in the line, he always makes the right decision and he’s been doing it for years.”