Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I had right to stay with England, says Stade Francais's James Haskell

James Haskell has insisted that his contract with Stade Francais allowed him to remain with England, despite claims to the contrary by the French club.
Haskell, who is expected to retain his place in England's side to face Scotland, has found himself at the centre of an escalating row between club and country over his services.

Attempting to defuse the row, Haskell said in a statement: "There has been so much erroneous comment regarding my contract with Stade Français that I feel I need to address the issue.

"The contract contains confidentiality clauses which I am bound to observe but I can say that the matter of my release for international duty and training is specifically provided for and I regret that there has been a misunderstanding with the club regarding this.

"I would like to make it clear that Stade Français have been very good to me and I am very happy in Paris. I am looking forward to playing for Stade Français again at the conclusion of the Six Nations."

Haskell's French-based England team-mate, Riki Flutey, will have no such concerns next season as the centre is set to return to Wasps after just one year at Brive.

The RFU will not be assisting the move financially, although England manager Martin Johnson will no doubt welcome Flutey's return to the elite player squad in World Cup year.

Johnson looks ready to make a number of changes for Saturday's game at Murrayfield. Leicester lock Louis Deacon will replace Simon Shaw, who has been ruled out by a shoulder injury. Tom Palmer has been called into the squad as cover.

Gloucester's Mike Tindall, one of five reinforcements called into the squad, could make a surprise return to the match-day 22. Tindall, who missed the autumn campaign with a hamstring injury, made only his second Premiership start since October for Gloucester against Wasps on Sunday.

Tindall has replaced Leicester centre Dan Hipkiss, who has an ankle problem, while Shane Geraghty has returned to the senior fold as precautionary cover for Toby Flood, who suffered a head injury on Saturday.

The full-back position was also the subject of debate, with Ben Foden a possible replacement for Delon Armitage, who is struggling with a rib injury. Flanker Joe Worsley, scrum-half Paul Hodgson and Chris Ashton, the Northampton wing, were also under consideration.

Gloucester full-back Olly Morgan has come in as cover for Armitage, while Leeds flanker Hendre Fourie has received his first senior call-up after Wasps' Dan Ward-Smith suffered knee ligament damage at the weekend.

Meanwhile fFormer England flanker Michael Lipman has demanded a meeting with the Australian Rugby Union after his proposed move to the Melbourne Rebels was blocked. The former Bath captain's ban for failing to take a drugs test expired on Feb 28, but the ARU have refused to sanction his move.

Scotland V England Hospitality

Six Nations Hospitality

No comments:

Post a Comment