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77-cap England flanker Haskell to retire at end of season

BBC Rugby 07 May 2019 08:20
James Haskell

England back row James Haskell is to retire at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old, who has won 77 caps and played in the past two World Cups, has struggled with ankle and toe problems with Northampton this season.

He joined Wasps in 2002 and spent seven years with the club before moving to Stade Francais, the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan and Super Rugby's Highlanders.

Haskell returned to Wasps in 2013 and moved to Saints last summer, but has only played four times this season.

"I have loved every minute of my career in rugby and feel very privileged to have played with and against some exceptional players," said Haskell, who also toured with the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2017.

"This next chapter was supposed to go a very different way, however that is the nature of professional sport. I've never spent so much time injured in my entire career, but I'm doing everything I can to help the squad here until my contract ends.

James Haskell and Chloe Madeley

He played in England's 2011 World Cup quarter-final loss to France and was part of the Wasps side that won the 2007 Heineken Cup final.

"His tour to Australia in 2016 sticks in my mind. He was absolutely outstanding on that tour, amazingly physical, uncompromising and just totally dominant.

"Not only a superb player, but also one of the game's great characters; rugby will be poorer without the old fella."

BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones

Either way he can reflect on an outstanding career, where he not only achieved a huge amount on the pitch, but broadened his horizons off it.

His individual performances against Wales in Cardiff in 2015, and in Australia a year later, will go down in English rugby folklore.

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James HaskellrugbyWaspsEddie JonesRicoh Black Rams
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