England backrow James Haskell has admitted that he had the option of three different Six Nations sides, before he settled on the Red Rose.
The Northampton Saints forward is currently out of action with an ankle injury and has undergone surgery in a bid to get himself back on the pitch.
The 6’4, 121kg flanker has played just three times the Saints since joining this summer. The hulking forward opened up today to BBC Wales about his ‘truel’ qualifications.
“I’m actually half Welsh, and I’m fully Welsh qualified, so I could have quite happily played for Wales,” the Saints forward told BBC Wales.
“I doubt I would have got into the team, before any of your listeners tweet me.
“But I love the Welsh, and I’ve got some good Welsh friends,” said Haskell. “My mother’s Welsh, we were kind of all from Cross Hands and Upper Tumble.”
He also admitted that he could have played for Ireland too.
“I’m actually qualified to play for Ireland as well, so I’m a bit of a mix of everything.”
Haskell underwent surgery in November for an ankle injury which requires a 6-10 week rehabilitation period.
Director of rugby Chris Boyd commented at the time, “We’re disappointed to lose James, but we know he’ll rehab diligently and do everything he can to get back on the training field as soon as possible.”
Haskell still has designs on playing for England at the Rugby World Cup, but with precious little game time, that dream could disappearing fast.
The 33-year-old has not featured in the November tests but still harbours ambitions to make England’s World Cup squad next year.
He was involved in England’s preseason camp and speaking to RugbyPass in August he said “I want to be involved, my whole reason for staying in the Premiership is to get in that World Cup squad and to play well here. These [England] camps are great, there were fifteen boys who were missing that could potentially be picked. You don’t want to read too much into it. All that matters is when the Premiership starts and how you perform.”
“When you’re heading towards the twilight of your career, you never take for granted any opportunity to put on your England kit and run out there and get some high-level coaching and work with the likes of Eddie (Jones) and Steve (Borthwick) because it’s a privilege,” said the 77-times capped player.
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