So as widely expected Haskell starts at 8. I think a lot of people have big expectations of him. I really hope he has a good game but I have concerns. I don't doubt his talent as a 6 and as a dynamic ball carrier, something we need need more of.
He's seems to be learning and adding to his game at SF, one aspect being his ball winning on the floor, but that's been at 6. My worries stem from watching him play at 8 for Wasps several times. To be honest he wasn't very good - Wasps didn't persevere with it, and most worryingly it seemed to detract from his running game. His control at the base wasn't great, he didn't explode off the base, looked a bit lost and was generally pretty anonymous.
He may have improved as an 8 but it's a massive ask and I'm not sure he's had the playing time there to do it. I really hope my worries are misplaced.
After deciding Crane wasn't the answer you could argue that given the squad choice, MJ has no other option at 8 other than a just fit again Worsley. Easter's injury has shown that 8 is a weak position for England and reflected in the EPS selection.
Should Dowson or Dan Ward Smith have been there? Well I'm not sure, Dowson's a good player but no quicker than Crane, and despite allegedly impressive sprint results in England training camp, DWS has looked no more than solid at Wasps this year and has been playing recently at 6. If DWS really is that quick he's been disguising it well this season.
So all in all, maybe Haskell at 8 is a risk worth taking, but don't be surprised if it's disappointing.