Three-time Guinness Six Nations winner James Haskell has confirmed he will retire from rugby at the end of the season.
The 34-year-old flanker won 77 caps for England, playing his part in Championship successes in 2011, 2016 and 2017, while he was also called up by The British & Irish Lions during their 2017 Tour to New Zealand.
Haskell joined Northampton Saints from Wasps last summer but ankle and toe injuries have hindered his campaign, leading to him calling it a day.
“I have loved every minute of my career in rugby and feel very privileged to have played with and against some exceptional players,” he said.
“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.
“I also want to thank all my team mates over the years for putting up with me and giving me an adventure that allowed me to laugh every single day.”
Haskell made his England debut in 2007, while he also made his Championship bow that year. He quickly became a key player under then head coach Martin Johnson, helping England win the 2011 Championship with four wins from five games.
Haskell played in the World Cup that year and returned for his second on home soil four years later, before starring in England’s 2016 Grand Slam win and the successful defence of their title 12 months later.
“When I look back at my time coaching James, it will always bring a smile to my face,” said England head coach Eddie Jones
“It was a privilege to coach him, but also great fun. He’s what I’d describe as a ‘glue’ player – someone who always tries to bring a squad together.
“His tour to Australia in 2016 sticks in my mind. He was absolutely outstanding on that tour, amazingly physical, uncompromising and just totally dominant.
“Despite injuries preventing him from achieving his goals this season, he should be remembered for a great career and as someone who never gave less than 100 per cent for club and country.
“Not only a superb player, but also one of the game’s great characters; rugby will be poorer without the ‘old fella’.”