England and Northampton Saints back-row James Haskell has announced his retirement from rugby at the end of the season. The 77-times capped flanker has struggled with injuries to his ankle and toe this season at his club and has decided to call it a day.
Haskell has had a glittering career in rugby at both club and international level – most notably winning three Six Nations with England including the Grand Slam in 2016 before also starring in the team that whitewashed Australia on tour that summer. The 34-year-old was also part of the England squad that reached the final of the 2007 World Cup as they lost to South Africa, while at club level he lifted the Heineken Cup in his first spell with Wasps in 2007.
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“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 & 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. “Retiring is obviously a really difficult decision for me to make; professional rugby has been the centre of my life for such a long time now and while it’s weird to imagine living without it, I look to the future with huge excitement.”