Haskell delighted with Stade move
When James Haskell announced he was moving from Wasps to Stade Francais, the Rugby Football Union issued a clear warning that he was placing his England career in jeopardy.
Eight months on and Haskell would be forgiven for expecting a few RFU officials to eat a slice of humble pie before settling down on Sunday to watch England and the revitalised flanker tackle Italy in Rome. Last Saturday, Haskell scored his first two international tries and he was named man-of-the-match for a lung-bursting performance in England's 30-17 RBS 6 Nations win over Wales.
"I have matured as a player. Going to Stade, I have restarted my career," said Haskell.
"I had been a fan of Wasps since I was young and I had got to know the players. I was slightly ahead of the game and I didn't really have the academy lifestyle.
"It was running before I could walk in certain respects and my maturity on the field and off it matched up with that.
"I needed a change. I don't know if changing clubs in England would have had the same effect.
"I wanted to get out of the spotlight and earn my spurs. I went to Stade. People knew who I was to some degree but I started again, building friendships.
"I have had a second chance at things and maybe not made the same mistakes I did when I joined Wasps straight from school.
"The improvements I have made on the field are echoed with me getting better as an individual off the field.
"Moves don't always work out for everyone but if things hadn't worked out then I would have disappeared into the ether."