England international James Haskell has extended his contract with Wasps.
Haskell, this season's co-captain alongside Matt Mullan, has agreed to extend his second spell at the Coventry-based club after his current deal was due to expire in the summer. Since his debut in 2002, the 30-year-old England back row has made 160 appearances for Wasps and has amassed 62 caps including appearances at two World Cups.
"I'm over the moon to be extending my contract with Wasps," said Haskell, who left in 2009 for spells in France, Japan and New Zealand before returning in 2012. "It's the only Premiership club I've ever known and feels like home, even after my stint around the world. I supported Wasps as an avid fan from the age of 13, so to be able to extend my stay, and lead the boys out as captain, is a dream come true.
"Obviously it wasn't a decision I took lightly as being 30 it was really important I chose a team that I felt were going to compete and ultimately win silverware. With Dai Young in charge and our owner Derek Richardson at the helm, I felt Wasps were a team that would do that.
"We have a developing and exciting squad that I feel will continue in an upwards trajectory and only get better. It's an honour to be part of that process."
Haskell spent 15 months in international exile that ended when he was selected for the 2014 tour to New Zealand and he has been an ever-present in England's squad since. The Heineken Cup winner insists the desire to win more caps under new head coach Eddie Jones was instrumental in his decision to remain at Wasps as only Aviva Premiership-based players can be selected for the national team.
"It was important that I stayed in the UK to continue my quest to play for England again," he said. "Pulling on that white shirt is why I get up every day and I feel I still have more to give at that level."
Young, Wasps' director of rugby, believes Haskell's international future could extend until Japan 2019. "James is hungry to continue playing for England and I think he's a genuine option to go right through to the next World Cup," Young said. "He's a larger-than-life character but also a true professional in his approach to the game and is always one of the last to leave training after doing extras.
"That drive to keep on improving is the reason he has produced some of his best rugby of his career over the past couple of seasons."