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James Haskell unsure of Six Nations future with England

Brian O'Driscoll

Highlights - Ireland 24-8 England

England flanker James Haskell has admitted he may not get a chance to put his Six Nations frustrations right next year if he stays in French club rugby.

The Stade Francais star could miss out because England will not select players based abroad from the start of 2012.

"We will wait and see. People in higher positions will make decisions [about the future]," he said.

Haskell is desperate to make amends after England's 24-8 defeat by Ireland ended their Grand Slam ambitions.

However, the 25-year-old is currently in discussions about activating the option of an extra year in Paris, while he has also been linked with a summer move to another French club, Clermont Auvergne.

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The Rugby Football Union has said that its new rules on selecting home-based players will only be broken in "exceptional circumstances".

Jonny Wilkinson has already indicated an intention to retire from Test rugby after the World Cup by signing a new deal with Toulon.

But Haskell said he would not want his last Six Nations experience - at least for the time being - to be a rampant Ireland outplaying England.

"This will be a bitter memory for a long while. You are only as good as your last game, and this wasn't great."

The loss denied England a first Grand Slam since 2003, and the fact they were still crowned Six Nations champions was scant consolation for Haskell and his team-mates.

"I am bitterly disappointed," he added. "I have never been in a position to win the Grand Slam. To lose the way we did was very difficult.

"We were our own worst enemies. It was a physical game, but if you shoot yourself in the foot every play, it makes it 10 times worse."

Haskell said defeat in Dublin will be a "bitter memory"
Haskell said defeat in Dublin will be a "bitter memory"

However, Haskell believes that when the pain of Saturday's defeat finally subsides, England will be able to use the experience to their benefit when they open their World Cup campaign against Argentina on 10 September.

"Momentum was with us, the country was behind us, the fans were behind us and it was the start of something very special - that has taken a knock-back but it is not the end of the world," he said.

"It will do my head in for however long but this team will be richer for it. We have a special group of players with a great group of management.

"No major changes are needed. We were our own worst enemies [against Ireland]. If we can correct that, we can carry on this momentum.

"I don't think there is any need to panic. It is just very upsetting we have blown a Grand Slam."



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see also
England 'scarred' by Slam defeat
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Irish proved a point - O'Driscoll
19 Mar 11 |  Irish
England were second best - Easter
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Kidney heaps praise on Irish players
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Sexton happy to justify selection
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 24-8 England
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations final day as it happened
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v England stats
19 Mar 11 |  Rugby Union


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