James Haskell is willing to take a pay cut to save his England career despite head coach Eddie Jones joking that his P45 is ready.
Haskell is searching for a new club for next season after being released by Wasps, with either Bristol or Northampton his most likely destinations given that he must remain in the Aviva Premiership to be eligible for Test selection.
To preserve his dream of being involved in the 2019 World Cup, the 32-year-old back row would accept a reduction in an annual salary thought to be in the region of £250,000.
“Eddie always jokes that he’s got my P45 in his pocket, laminated, ready to give to me! I’m sure there’s always a taxi running! ” Haskell said.
“I want to stay in the Premiership and I’m still looking at a couple of options, but it’s not an easy decision to make.
“I’m fully aware that if I go outside of the Premiership, then it’s game over because England aren’t going to make a dispensation for me, sadly.
“I’m 100 per cent aware I might have to take a pay cut to still be available. You have to look at what your priorities are and for me, that is to try to be in this England squad going towards a World Cup in Japan under Eddie Jones.
“It’s a massive challenge, but there would be a big pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.”
Haskell bears no grudge towards Wasps despite the absence of any discussion over a new contract, insisting “it’s business at the end of the day”.
Despite being among the game’s most well-travelled English players after completing spells in three different overseas leagues, he knows that only by remaining on these shores will be able to achieve his ultimate aim.
But, it just goes to show, some sport stars aren't just in it for the money.
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