Retiring at the end of the season, see how the rugby world reacted to the news here.
James Haskell Announces Retirement
England international and former British & Irish Lion James Haskell has announced he will retire at the end of the season due to a series of ankle and toe injuries.
A player with a storied career and a fan favourite for his no-nonsense approach to the game and to a similar extent, his punditry, Haskell earned 77 caps for his country, played in two Rugby World Cups and won three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2016.
He also represented the Lions four times in 2017 during the tour to New Zealand.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“I look back at my career and have been very lucky to have done most things there are to do in rugby. Sadly, I will never know what it’s like to win a World Cup or represent the Barbarians.
“Finally, I would not have achieved what I have in this sport without the continued support of my amazing wife, my family, and my friends. To them all, I am incredibly grateful.”
Many of Haskell’s former teammates and rugby contemporaries were quick to comment upon hearing the news.
England head-coach Eddie Jones said: “When I look back at my time coaching James, it will always bring a smile to my face.
“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.
“Not only a superb player, but also one of the game’s great characters; rugby will be poorer without the ‘old fella’.”
Below are a collection of responses we found on social media.
Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features.