With the World Cup, just over a year away some English players are uncertain where they will be playing rugby during the 2018/19 season, and subsequently, whether they still have a future as an England International.
One of those players unexpectedly is James Haskell, who is to be released from his contract by Wasps at the end of their season, meaning he has a maximum of four games left in Black and Gold.
Many clubs expected him to stay at Wasps however, Jack Willis has seized the opportunity to claim the number six shirt and if Haskell is to feature in Wasps hunt for Premiership glory it is set to be from the bench.
Haskell who has over two-hundred appearances for the Coventry based club wants to keep his international career going until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, however, he has yet to receive any offers from English clubs, including newly-promoted side Bristol Bears and has spent the last three months awaiting an offer.
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There is no guarantee that Haskell will even feature in the World Cup with Jack Willis, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry all currently contenders for the shirt.
New Zealand born Brad Shields joins Wasps at the start of the new season, effectively in Haskell’s place and already looks to have claimed his spot in the England set-up, despite not yet playing a second of rugby in England.
Haskell at his prime played some outstanding rugby for both club and country, which is shown by his eleven year England career. He also featured on the British and Irish Lions tour last summer, following an injury to Billy Vunipola.
Even though the flanker is nearing the end of his rugby career he would still be an asset to any club, not only in his playing ability but his stature and the experience and knowledge of the game that he would bring with him.
If he fails to find an English club he could be forced to play abroad, having already done so in Japan, New Zealand and France where he would be accustomed to their playing styles; however, if this is to happen his World Cup dream is truly over with the RFU refusing to include any players playing outside of England in any of their squads.