England's James Haskell insists he still has plenty to offer Eddie Jones' new-look England side in the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The 30-year-old Wasps flanker has won 62 caps, putting him in the top twenty capped England players of all time. He has represented England over nine seasons since he was first selected for England in 2007 aged just 21 for his debut against Wales in the Millennium Stadium.
However with the Red Rose without an RBS 6 Nations triumph in four years, despite all his experience and expertise in playing many times, both starting as well as coming off the bench, across all three back row positions, Haskell could be in the firing line when new head coach Eddie Jones names his first squad.
With a new-look England expected under Jones following his appointment last month, Haskell could step aside from international duty now he is tasked with leading a Wasps side on the up since a move to Coventry.
But having played in all five of England's RBS 6 Nations fixtures in the 2015 championship, Haskell is adamant he can still be one of the first names on Jones' team sheet for England when they take on Scotland in their 2016 opener next February.
"I'm 30, I'm not 35, I've still have an awful lot to give," he recently told the Daily Mirror. "I'm as determined as ever to play for England.”
I must say since turning 30 I have been shocked at people’s perceived ageism. I suppose because I started with Wasps when I was just at 17, so have been a professional for over 13 years, it seems to the world at large like I have been around forever. So when people read I am 30, they just subconsciously add another six or so years!
However I see it as the culmination of a full maturing process, I feel I am just about now reaching my peak.
The conditioning guy at Wasps told me the other day that all the stats and analysis showed me to be the fittest guy at the Club. Pretty good for a guy allegedly having to use a Zimmer frame to get around.
However maybe my face doesn't fit the International scene any more or I'm not needed. We'll wait and see, but I won't stop pushing. I'm haunted by the fear of not fulfilling my talent.
I wake up every day and make notes about how I can get better and what I want to do to improve.
You've only got one opportunity, one career; you have to make the most of it.
I'll keep playing trying to get selected, trying to be the first name on the team sheet, until someone taps me on the shoulder and says 'You're not good enough', or my body has let me down.
You may also like
Posted on November 26th, 2015
James Haskell reveals ambition for Wasps and England... 'I'm playing for a contract and I want to lead from the front'
Posted on December 9th, 2015