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."



BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test