Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Lawes captained his country in his 100th international – a World Cup warm-up against Fiji in August

Vice-captain Courtney Lawes will retire from England duty at the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.

The 34-year-old has played in four World Cups and two British and Irish Lions tours and is one of only five Englishmen to be capped 100 times.

His bid to finish on a high with coach Steve Borthwick’s side ended against South Africa in Saturday’s semi-final.

“I think it’s time. I’ve done four World Cups, so I’m pretty happy with that,” he said.

“I haven’t told Steve yet! But I will let him know.

“It’s a bit of an end of an era, 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. To be able to finish with this group, it’s something I’ll treasure forever.”

Lawes, who has made 105 international appearances across 15 years, could play his final game in Friday’s bronze-medal match Argentina.

He made his England debut against Australia in 2009 when Borthwick was team captain.

The flanker was a beaten finalist against the Springboks in 2019 and also played in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments, in addition to representing the Lions in 2017 and 2021.

He believes England have a bright future and is determined to sign off at international level, although he will continue to play at at club level for Northampton, by helping the team finish third.

“We showed to everyone what it means to play for this team,” he said. “Play for your country and the boys alongside you.

“I think people can see now what a good coach he is – and where this team can really go.

“We want to finish on a high. It’s important for us to finish properly and send us all off on a good win.”

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