Rugby Union

James Haskell hopes to play despite health scare

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James Haskell is still hopeful of playing for England when they face world champions New Zealand on 8 November, despite suffering a serious health scare, which he feared might be the life-threatening disease, meningitis. 

The London Wasps forward fell ill over two weeks ago and was lay in a darkened room unable to open his eyes, eat or drink, according to The Daily Mail. He lost 5kg of weight in one week and had to undergo a lumbar puncture, as well as a number of blood tests. 

“I’ve never been that ill in my life. It was weird … it just came upon me," said the flanker, who is likely to be left out of the squad to face the All Blacks due to the illness, with the South Africa game the following week the more likely option. 

Initial thoughts

Haskell had all the symptoms of someone suffering from the viral version of meningitis, including stiffness in his neck and back, difficulty opening his eyes, as well as the inability to eat properly which resulted in the weight loss.

It was the slow rate of recovery that worried the nurses, who expected Haskell's condition to improve a lot faster than it was appearing too. This lead to the fluid removal from the Englishman's spine, amongst other tests. 

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"I spent hours lying in bed with a cold flannel on my head, in a dark room, on a drip, not eating or drinking. It was a case of man down, really," Haskell said. 

Haskell is not overly concerned with the loss in weight, as he admits he is not a small man, however it is the full intensity training with the squad that he has already missed out on and may be unable to fully take part in that is the main issue. 

England selection

England head coach, Stuart Lancaster has stated that the team will be training seriously on Thursday and if Haskell is unable to participate fully, he probably will not be selected. 

The 29-year-old is the first to admit that if he is not 100% fit, his game will suffer and he will not make any silly decisions. 

"The only thing I can say is that, if I get into a full training session and I suddenly can’t cope with it, then I will be the first to put my hand up.

"The only thing I can say is that, if I get into a full training session and I suddenly can’t cope with it, then I will be the first to put my hand up.

"If you are trying to muddle through, especially at international level, you are going to get caught out pretty quick," Haskell said. 

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Topics:
Rugby Union
England Rugby

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