Rugby Union


James Haskell breaks silence on Lawrence Dallaglio's criticism over Royal Wedding appearance

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James Haskell has responded to the criticism fired his way by the likes of former England great, Lawrence Dallaglio in a typically emphatic and erudite way.

In a podcast hosted by ex-Internationals David Flatman and Tom Shanklin, Haskell said he'd originally declined the invitation to attend the Royal Wedding as he believed that he'd be playing in the Aviva Premiership play-off match.

However, an injury sustained in the game against the Newcastle Falcons ruled Haskell out of contention to face Saracens.

"I said I was unable to attend, I thought I would be playing in the semi-final," Haskell told the live audience during the podcast, per the Coventry Telegraph.

"We played against Newcastle and I came off 10 minutes after half time with my foot, which was killing me, I had a scan in the week, it showed swelling and inflammation.

"I tried to train, I couldn't do it. As we got into the Tuesday of the week when he was picking the team he took me to one side and said, 'listen, I've spoke to the physio, we've looked at the scan and seen the inflammation, you're not going to be right'.

"I never really had the conversation as I was intending to go to the game, then Dai messaged me saying if you want to go to this wedding I'll give you 100 per cent support. It's once in a lifetime. I said I'll message back and see if they still have a spot available, it was so that was it."

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Haskell attended the wedding at St Georges Chapel with fiancee Chloe Madeley on Saturday, while his teammates suffered a heavy 57-33 defeat to bring Wasps' season to close - and Haskell's career with the Midlands-based club as he is Northampton-bound next term.

Dallaglio's comments seem to have been uninformed and perhaps compounded by adding to them in an interview with TalkSport on Monday.

“It would be poor form really, wouldn’t it? He should be here with his teammates. I’m sure Harry wouldn’t mind, he loves his rugby anyway.”

He added: "It was just a personal opinion, I was quite surprised. I think even off the field you can have a massive impact on your team mates. As it happened they got absolutely thumped by Saracens. I was just surprised that was all."

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Dallaglio, while a World Cup winner with England, had a career bedecked with trophies but also and an equal measure of misdemeanors that one could say showed greater disloyalty to his team mates.

As it stands, Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has leapt to the defence of of his player.

"James has been injured since the Newcastle game, he hasn't trained," Young said. "He's had a nasty foot injury and is still a couple of weeks off doing anything. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I don't think he's done anything wrong. He's been at training every week and supporting the players as much as he could."

Young ended by saying, "I don't feel he should be criticised too much."

Haskell 2. Dallaglio 1.

London Wasps
England Rugby
James Haskell
Rugby Union

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