England lock Courtney Lawes has said that he will retire from international rugby after the World Cup in France to spend more time with his family.
The 34-year-old Lawes, who has won 105 caps and played at four World Cups, will be available for his last England game in the Bronze Final against Argentina on Friday.
“I’ll be retiring from Test rugby after this World Cup,” the vice-captain, who is England’s fifth most capped player, was quoted as saying by British media.
“The kids are at that age where they need their dad around. It will be good to be with them more.
“I haven’t told (England coach) Steve (Borthwick) yet! I will let him know. But I’ve said to the boys (and) anyone that’s asked. I think it’s time. I’ve done four World Cups, I’m pretty happy with that.”
Lawes, who will carry on playing for Northampton Saints, made his debut in November 2009 against Australia in a side captained by current England manager Steve Borthwick.
He played in his first World Cup in 2011.
Lawes won three Six Nations titles (2016, 2017 and 2020) and also featured in the 2017 and 2021 British & Irish Lions series.
“It’s an end of an era,” Lawes added. “I’m not an emotional person but it’s been a real honour for me to represent England for so long. It flies by.
“I’m proud of the journey I’ve been on. It’s not always been the ups, there have been plenty of downs in there, but I’ve pushed through and done my best for the team.”
England were knocked out of the World Cup on Saturday in a bitter 16-15 defeat by defending champions South Africa who will face New Zealand in the final next Saturday.