RFU continue to stand firm over Haskell

The Rugby Football Union today said they will not be releasing flanker James Haskell back to Stade Francais for their Top 14 clash with Toulouse this weekend.

Stade said in a statement yesterday that the former Wasps forward, who joined the Parisians last summer, needs to return to France as they do not have an agreement with England that would allow Haskell to remain with the national side.



This week is not considered an international week by the International Rugby Board as there are no RBS 6 Nations fixtures this weekend, but the RFU insist an agreement does exist that allows the 24-year-old to remain in camp with Martin Johnson's side.



An RFU spokesman told Press Association Sport: "Our position is as it has been for the past two days. James will be staying with England as his contract with Stade Francais allows him to be available during EPS (Elite Player Squad) periods. We have nothing further to add to that."



Haskell, who has featured in the last 20 England Tests, has started all three games of the current RBS 6 Nations campaign, scoring two tries and earning the man-of-the-match award in the 30-17 victory over Wales at Twickenham.



Stade released a strongly-worded statement on their website yesterday, which read: "On Monday, Stade Francais - finding England international James Haskell absent from training - asked the back-rower to return immediately to Paris.



"This period is not provided for in the IRB's international windows and Stade Francais have a big match against Stade Toulousain on Saturday.



"The RFU responded that they will refuse to release Haskell on the grounds that an agreement was signed between them and Stade Francais. No agreement has ever been signed with the RFU, contrary to what they claim. If it is so, the RFU can produce this so-called agreement.



"The RFU have surely confused us with other clubs such as Toulon, who had to accept an agreement for this season relating to Jonny Wilkinson.



"Therefore, Stade Francais are ordering James Haskell, who has already missed two training sessions, to kindly rejoin his club urgently.



"The RFU have signed agreements with English clubs, whom they reimburse for placing their international players at their disposition outside of IRB international windows. This is not the case for French clubs who, thus, do not have to fund the preparation of the England team."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect