James Haskell is one of the best rugby players to come out of England in the last twenty years. He had major success with club and country throughout his seventeen year career.
How many caps did James Haskell get? James Haskell got 77 caps with England throughout his rugby career. He was also capped 22 times by the England Saxons as well as four caps with the British and Irish Lions.
James Haskell began playing rugby at a very young age and joined his local team, Maidenhead minis. It was through Maidenhead and playing at school that he got some attention from Wasps RFC. He quickly broke through the ranks of the youth team and made his first team debut in 2002.
Haskell’s career year was really 2007. After some good and consistent performances for the highly successful Wasps team of the 2000s, he broke into the England team in the 2007 Six Nations, having decided to play for England over Wales as he qualified for both countries through being English born to a Welsh mother.
Haskell’s very first cap came in the final game of the 2007 Six Nations against Wales where he was part of a backrow made of exclusively Wasps players as he was alongside Joe Worsley and Tom Rees.
Despite starting this game, Haskell was not in the England squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup despite being in the training camp. It was after this world cup that he began to become a major part of the England team, playing a prominent role in the 2008 and 2009 Six Nations with England failing to win a Six Nations title since 2003.
Haskell joined Stade Francais during this time and began to look to play around the world, playing one season in Japan as well as twelve appearances for the Highlanders in Super Rugby. In 2011, England finally won the Six Nations again which was a campaign that Haskell started all five games.
It was really from 2010 that he began to become an important player in the England team, playing thirteen times for England in 2011 as he played in the World Cup as England went out to France. His time away from playing in England meant Haskell did not play for England in the 2012 Six Nations, but returned to the team for the Autumn internationals as England defeated New Zealand 38-21.
It was a huge win for England and was one of Haskell’s best games for England. It put him back in contention and he played in all of the 2013 Six Nations games as England slipped to second behind Wales. He continued to be a part of the England team throughout the next few years and was involved in the 2015 England team that had an awful world cup.
Despite Eddie Jones becoming coach after that World Cup, Haskell became a crucial element of the England team that won a record 18 straight test matches. 2016 was by far his best year as an England international. The year started with Haskell starting in every game as England won the grand slam and the Six Nations title.
In the two most difficult caps of that tournament, Haskell played the full 80 minutes against Scotland at Murrayfield and against France in Paris. The latter performance helped England to a 31-21 win to secure the Six Nations Grand Slam.
In that summer, England headed down to Australia in the hope of confirming their re-emergence with Eddie Jones. It turned into a brilliant series for Haskell and England as the team took revenge on Australia, who dumped them out of the 2015 world cup in the group stages.
Arguably Haskell’s best ever performance in an England shirt came in the first game of that series. He made 18 tackles as well as setting up Marland Yarde’s try. His physical hits set the tone as England won the game 39-28.
England would go on to win the series 3-0 and despite being hauled off in the 71st minute of the final test with a serious toe injury, he was named man of the series. It was Haskell at his very best despite being closer to the end of his England career. Haskell would also play in all four of England’s autumn internationals which they won.
Haskell would also start in three of the five games of the 2017 Six Nations as England won the Six Nations title despite losing the last game to Ireland. Haskell’s excellent last few years meant that when Billy Vunipola picked up an injury, he was called up to the British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of New Zealand.
While he would not feature in any of the tests against New Zealand, Haskell played four times for the Lions on the tour, including against the Highlanders who Haskell played for in 2012-13.
Injuries began catching up to Haskell as he lost his position in the squad to Sam Simmonds for the 2017 Autumn internationals.
But Haskell would return for two final games in an England shirt both in 2018. He would have played for of a part in the Six Nations but was banned for the first two games due to a dangerous tackle on Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts. Haskell’s last two England caps came during the Six Nations.
Sadly for Haskell, both games ended in losses and a year later he announced his retirement from rugby to end a stellar 17 year career that saw Haskell win almost everything on offer.
What has James Haskell won?
During his incredible rugby career, Haskell won four Premiership titles as well as two Champions Cup titles and a Challenge cup title. Most of this domestic success came when Haskell was on the bench as a youngster with Wasps.
With England, Haskell won the Six Nations three times including the Grand Slam in 2016. His other titles came in 2011 and 2017. He did not win anything else with England other than personal achievements like man of the series in the 2016 tour of Australia.