Haskell stays to captain Wasps
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:32
Wasps is so much a part of my life
England international James Haskell has extended his contract with the London Wasps and will captain the team this season.
The loose forward who has won 51 caps for his country, progressed quickly from Wasps Academy to the senior side, becoming the youngest Wasp in the Premiership when he made his debut in 2002 at the age of 18.
During his first seven seasons with Wasps, Haskell won the European Cup and the Premiership, before enjoying spells in France, Japan and New Zealand. He returned to the Club two seasons ago and has amassed 132 appearances in black and gold.
The irrepressible loose forward, whose energy is infectious on and off the field, said: "I'm really pleased to have extended my contract with Wasps and am honoured to have been asked to captain the Club.
"Wasps is so much a part of my life, having played here for nine seasons in total. I have a lot to thank the Club's coaches and support staff for, in helping me to get back into the England set up last season.
"I grew up supporting Wasps, which a lot of people don't realise. I have been a boyhood fan since I was 12.
"I had the privilege of learning from icons of the game here, like Lawrence Dallaglio, Joe Worsley and Paul Volley, and it is a huge privilege to now be in a position to lead the Club.
"The squad is the most competitive it has been in years, with a number of internationals arriving, as well as exciting young lads who are keen to make an impact.
"We are back at the top table of Europe after last season's win in Paris and we are benefiting from financial stability off the field. It really feels like Wasps is back and ready to achieve what we all know this team can.
Director of Rugby, Dai Young, appreciates the significance of Haskell signing a new contract: "I am delighted that James has decided to extend his contract. It is an indication of the positive direction the Club is moving in that players of his calibre and international experience are keen be a part of what we're working hard to build.
"I was really impressed with James' performances last year. The first season he returned to the Club will have been frustrating for him as he had to carefully manage his return from a knee injury, but I thought last season he was absolutely outstanding.
He was back on top of his game and performing consistently at the highest level.
"He has also demonstrated how much of a team player he is, and he is a good role model around the Club and on the pitch.
James shows real leadership qualities within the squad and we believe he will be an excellent captain.
"We know we will miss Haskell's presence for chunks of the season as we expect his performances to put him in line for an England starting spot.
"However, we believe we have strong leaders within the squad, as well as hugely talented back row options to select from.
"The back row is one of the most competitive areas at the Club and it will be exciting to see how combinations develop this season.
"We are all looking forward to the next friendly against Connacht Rugby at Adams Park on Saturday, and then Saracens at the London Double Header on September 6.”
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