James Haskell will go in search of a new club this summer after it was confirmed he will leave Top 14 side Stade Francais.
His move away from the French club comes after a shake up within English Rugby’s governing body the RFU, who have opted not to pick overseas-based players after the World Cup later this year in order to boost their chances of lifting the World Cup in 2015.
Haskell had earlier refused to bow to pressure and insisted he would stay with Stade Francais despite their poor season which saw them miss out on the Top 14 play-off’s, eventually finishing 11th, and lose to Harlequins in the Challenge Cup final.
Haskell is just one of a number of players leaving Stade this summer, with Scotland international Hugo Southwell and England sevens international Ollie Phillips just two of seven names who will be forced to find new clubs ahead of the new season.
New Stade administrator and former French national coach Bernard Laporte spoke of the need to reinvigorate the side, which meant some players had to leave.
(We want) players of character,” Laporte commented.”We need to find the will to do things together. I got the feeling the players want to control things. I can assure you, that is finished.”
Haskell has been linked with a switch to play in Super Rugby Jerseys for the NSW Waratahs, but having impressed in the 6 Nations and with the World Cup under 100 days away, the flanker, who has been capped 32 times, will likely favour a move back to the Premiership.