Wasps: James Haskell given new contract and captaincy

James Haskell
Haskell played 24 times for Wasps last season and helped them qualify for the European Champions Cup

England's James Haskell has signed a new contract at Wasps and has been named captain of the Premiership side.

The 29-year-old flanker replaces centre Chris Bell as skipper at Adams Park.

He has 51 caps for England and made his international return this summer after more than a year out of the squad.

"I have a lot to thank the club's coaches and support staff for, in helping me to get back into the England set-up last season," said the former Stade Francais forward.

"Wasps is so much a part of my life, having played here for nine seasons in total.

"Belly did an absolutely fantastic job leading the squad last season and we will work closely together again this season. All the boys listen to him and he will continue to play a vital leadership role within the squad."

James Haskell career
Born: Windsor, 2 April 1985Position: Flanker
Wasps debut: September 2003Wasps games: 132 (across two spells)
England debut: March 2007England caps: 51

Haskell began his career at Wasps and was part of the team that won the Premiership title in 2004, 2005 and 2008 and the Heineken Cup in 2007 before leaving for spells in France, Japan and New Zealand.

He returned to the club two years ago, but injury cost him a place in England's squad for the 2013 autumn internationals and he was overlooked for this year's Six Nations.

However, he made his England return with an outstanding performance in the last-gasp defeat by New Zealand in the first of three Tests in June.

Wasps missed out on the Premiership play-offs last season, finishing seventh in the table, and have their sights on a top-six place in the new campaign.

"I was really impressed with James' performances last year," said Wasps boss Dai Young.

"The first season he returned to the club will have been frustrating for him as he had to carefully manage his return from a knee injury, but I thought last season he was absolutely outstanding.

"This season we have appointed two vice captains to form a leadership group and support the captain. Matt Mullan will join Chris Bell in these roles. They are both hugely respected by the players and coaches."