Highlanders party: All Blacks KO-ed, British star struck, furniture set on fire, police called
James Haskell’s stint with the Highlanders in 2012 ended with the hosting of a party that resulted in the elimination of two teammates, fires and the call of the police. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Members of the Highlanders Super Rugby squad have been penalized in the past two seasons for off-field antics gone awry.
But they pale in comparison to what happened when England testing star James Haskell threw a party at the end of his stint with the Dunedin-based franchise.
Haskell has recounted touring stories and, at times, off-field antics in his two rugby memoir; What A Flanker, and Ruck Me. The latter was released in the UK last month.
Her first book – which came out late last year – includes the fallout from ultimately unproven allegations of sexual harassment by a housekeeper during England’s stay in Dunedin during the Cup. of the world of rugby 2011.
In it, Haskell also revealed how a party he threw in the south of town resulted in the elimination of All Blacks Jimmy Cowan and Lima Sopoaga, facial injuries, patio furniture and some of his clothes. set on fire and the police called.
In What A Flanker, he is remembered as one of his “worst ideas”, throwing the party at the house he rented – which belonged to former Highlanders and Manu Samoa star Seilala Mapusua – the day after. the end of the Highlanders Super Rugby season.
âHearing a commotion coming from the garden, I walked outside to find that they had stacked Mapusua garden furniture under the eaves of the house and set it on fire, along with some of my clothes,â a- he writes.
“I obviously lost the plot, and as I was halfway there, Lima Sopoaga jumped on me and smashed an egg on my head. The yolk hadn’t even had time to start. to run down my face as I charged through what was now a raging fire, like a deranged stuntman, and knocked out Lima with a forehand. I thought I’d killed him.
Haskell was then punched, with his nose “split,” by one of Sopoaga’s close friends in the Highlanders.
Meanwhile, Cowan – “for reasons he probably didn’t even know” – threw a punch at teammate Elliot Dixon, who in turn knocked the half-back out of 51 tests.
“Now we had two cold dudes in the backyard and it was like a scene from that New Zealand movie Once Were Warriors, except instead of someone yelling ‘Cooking fucking eggs at man ! ‘ someone was crushing raw eggs on my forehead, âHaskell wrote.
When his ‘conscious’ teammates refused to leave, Haskell said he called the police and told an operator, ‘I have an out of control party at my house, which could burn down anytime – get over here now’ . “
He said several patrol cars have arrived, with officers offering to take the players home.
“Now it was just Jimmy Cowan and I in the house, me with my broken nose and him with a big cut above his eye,” Haskell recalls.
âIt looked like we had just completed 12 laps. After I put out the flames – which wasn’t easy – and finally convinced Cowan to get lost, I took a cab to A&E. Luckily the doctor was a fan of English rugby and did a great job of tailoring.
âThe next morning I was relieved to find that the place had not burned down. But the carnage was even worse than I remembered.
“The house was littered with bottles and someone had vomited on the floor in the kitchen. I also discovered that they had tried to start another fire at the other end of the garden, right next to the propane tank. .
âIf this fire had gone out, it would have caused us all to explode.
Haskell saw his teammates again at another social gathering before returning to the UK.
“It was as if nothing had happened,” he wrote.
“What the hell were you guys thinking?” “. . . ‘Oh, that was just a little fun’. “