James Haskell, the former England rugby flanker who grew up playing the game in Maidenhead, has announced he will call time on his career at the end of the season.
Haskell, a former Maidenhead RFC junior, has endued an injury-plagued campaign at Northampton Saints, said this week he will retire from professional rugby in the close season. He leaves the game as one of England’s most successful players.
“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.
“There are so many people to thank, but in particular I would like to express my appreciation for all the coaches, trainers and physios who I have worked with throughout my career – from Maidenhead minis all the way up to England and the British & Irish Lions, I owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.
“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.”
Haskell earned 77 caps for England, played in two Rugby World Cups and won three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2016. The same year he also played in England’s series whitewash of the Wallabies in Australia.