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Willem Alberts dancing alone in the gym


Five nominees for World Player of 2014


Barbarians run riot vs Leicester Tigers


IRB rebrands to World Rugby

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

James Haskell at Stade Francais in Paris

James Haskell at Stade Francais in Paris

This season the Top 14 in France has had another influx of foreign players thanks to lucrative offers, good rugby, and a change of scenery. James Haskell has gone across for a slightly different reason - to regain his position in the English team.

Haskell travelled across the Channel to Stade Francais, leaving his beloved London Wasps and a life in the Guinness Premiership in the hope if finding form with the Paris side.

While many feel that leaving your country is a step backwards, Haskell is adamant that this is precisely what he needs to pick up his performances and impress the England management once again following him not being selected for England, the Saxons, or the British & Irish Lions.

I set out the reasons I wanted to go and all of them were based on getting back in the England squad and holding down that shirt, he said. There are no excuses not to be involved apart from being down on my performances.

In this nice clip, we see the 24 year old loose forward talking about his new ambitions, as well as going through the famous Stade Francais jerseys that continue to fascinate fans around the world.

They've turned their club into a marketing machine, with the calender and predominantly hot pink merchandise helping to sell millions each season.

Look out for Haskell baring his chest soon.

Time: 06:52
Credit: Thanks for Sky Sports for the original footage

Posted at 2:11 pm | 25 comments

Toulon draw with Stade Francais in Top 14 opener

James Haskell late hit on Jordan Crane

Posted in Player Features

Viewing 25 comments

Anonymous September 02, 2009 1:37 pm

Haskell has alot of physical attributes, but he needs to learn to offload in the tackle and work on his ball skills.

That's what made Zinzan Brooke such a great player. He was not the biggest or most powerful forward, but he had the ball skills and handling of a center.

If Haskell spent as much time working on that as he did pumping iron and drinking supplements he might go on the next Lions tour.

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Peej September 02, 2009 1:47 pm

"If I wear them and you wear those, maybe we could do a little double work"

Shameless attempts to score!

Lol, good interview, cheers for this RD. I was sad to see him leave Wasps, but wish him the best of luck in Paris.

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Brick Shithouse September 02, 2009 2:03 pm

Needs to add the extra dimension to his game, for the moment he's a straight up battering ram.

Seems like a really nice guy though, fair play for being decisive in his decision.

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ToulouseFan September 02, 2009 2:10 pm

Quite funny to see how players feel about wearing those pretty ridiculous shirts ^^

Thanks for that good stuff RD :)

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 3:11 pm

he's a big bloke thats for sure. and does need to work on his ball skills a bit more. on a separate note-
He gave it a fair crack with the reporter though! i probably would too. he might break her in half though...

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muzza September 02, 2009 3:12 pm

A good player but he seems a bit of a southern t*t, which rugby player would care enough about his shirt being a collage of pinks/purples. Also a raar with shorts and flip flops...Man up before you represent my nation!!!!

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 3:35 pm

would love to see you say that to his face "muzza". the topic of the conversation in the shop was the colour of the shirts...
lol at anonymous above's comment :P

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 4:07 pm

re Muzza's comments...

one question, what are you meant to wear in the summer if not shorts and flip flops? Or should you go for the chav look of tracksuits and want-to-be leather shoes? Maybe it says more about you than him if you care more about what he wears than what he says!

Plus try watching the interview again, he even says he doesn't care which shirt he wears.

Re his moving to Paris, hope he benefits from it and brings something new to his game...

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 4:31 pm

Bless him. Pierre Spies will break him in half.

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 4:32 pm

when they started talking about the pants what was he going on about when he said they havent come out yet dirty bugger she was all giggles i think she might have seen him in those undies the night before

also 35 euros for a pair pants blimmey

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 4:58 pm

lol at the comment about pierre spies breaking him in half...spies is an absolute freak of nature. But haskell's not a bad player. got alot of work to do because with the likes of tom croft, joe worsley, tom ree's jordan crane and will skinner he's got some serious competition for that 7 jersey for england. im a wasps fan but i can see the benefits for him as player for moving to france. the level of running rugby over theres exceptional at the moment and will only help his game. all the best to him

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Sander September 02, 2009 5:15 pm

At the anon above:

Both Haskell and Crane are anything BUT openside flankers.

Worsley, Rees and maybe Armitage/Skinner should be fighting for the 7 shirt (although Worsley seems a bit slow for a true 7). Perhaps Moody and Croft for the no.6 and let's see Haskell and Crane knock seven bells out of each other for no. 8 shirt!

Thinking on it, backrow doesn't seem too much of a problem for the England team ...let's find them some decent centers!

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Anonymous September 02, 2009 7:13 pm

Spies? I have never seen such an overrated load of hype in my life. Sure, he may be good in the fast and loose world of Super 14 65-45 games...but he isn't up to much in test rugby. He had one decent run in the first half of the second test against the Lions.

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bigox September 02, 2009 7:40 pm

I would have said something similar before I saw him feature in this year's Tri-Nations; the first few rounds of which you apparently missed.

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wagwan September 02, 2009 10:43 pm

Haskell loves himself more than a fat kid loves cake

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Lennox September 02, 2009 11:01 pm

Yeah Spies' entire career comes down to a couple of games he played against the Lions, cuz that's the only ones you've seen him play.
Ignorant idiot.

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T. September 03, 2009 7:57 am

I am Parisian, and I always supported Stade Franais even if this club was always slandered in France by the worldrugby. Their shirts were always very ugly to my taste. The pink didn't improve the image of the club in a world of virile men. That they play in pink isn't a problem for me. But for some years the president Max Guazzini changes all the time shirt colors and motives , what to my taste distorts the identity of the club and makes that the supporters feel lost. It is only of the excessive marchandising.
At least if they continued to win as at the time of Benrard Laporte.

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Anonymous September 03, 2009 9:09 am

Seems like a good bloke. Good player, and easily good enough for international rugby but definitely a 6 not a 7.

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Ross James September 03, 2009 10:29 am

Id love to go out for a pint with that guy......NAAAAAAAAAT

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Anonymous September 03, 2009 11:14 am

I don't think he chose the right club to improve his rugby...Stade Franais is horrific this year

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Anonymous September 03, 2009 3:38 pm

Don't believe what he's saying was behind his move to France - more about the money and celebrity than his rugby development...
How's he supposed to develop his game as a No.8 if he can't play at 8, since the best player, and captain, of his team is a No.8 ?

Did he fall out with the Wasps coaches?
Did he throw his toys out the pram because they didn't get him into the Lions squad, or offer him the captaincy?

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frenchpolak September 03, 2009 3:38 pm

As many have said, he needs to improve his ball skills...and chat-up skills while he's at it!

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Anonymous September 04, 2009 3:28 pm

Just because Haskell's a big physical player, that doesn't mean that he hasn't got good handling skills. If you've ever watched him play, you will know that he has a really good offload game.

The problem is that he needs to be more aware of the option to pass and offload more often. I think playing in France, where the game is more open and players have the inclination as well as the natural ability to put others in space, will develop this awareness.

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Anonymous September 04, 2009 7:52 pm

lol pink iz phunny

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goodNumber10 September 05, 2009 9:32 am

That's the end of my road.

"How's he supposed to develop his game as a No.8 if he can't play at 8, since the best player, and captain, of his team is a No.8 ?"

Well that's the point isn't it? He needs to go there and play hard and train hard and make himself as good, if not better then Parisse.

If you sit in a team where you are the best and no one is pushing you or no one is there to be pushed you have no means to become better.

competition within a squad breeds better rugby players.

RE: The Stade shirts etc.. Guazzini has gone on record saying he introduced the pink shirts to attract the large Gay community in the city, they intern bring girls with them and that intern brings a lot of disposable income and thus the marketing pays off, raising huge amounts of money for the club and the other facilities it supports. stade Francais is not justa rugby club, there are a lot of other sports under the SF banner as well, and they are supported by the rugby generated income.

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