England World Cup hero RETIRES from Test rugby after heartbreaking semi-final defeat to South Africa | The Sun
COURTNEY LAWES will retire from England duty following his Rugby World Cup heartbreak.
Lawes' bid to finish his international career on a high was cruelly ended by Saturday's devastating 16-15 semi-final loss to South Africa in Paris.
Vice-captain Lawes, 34, is a veteran of four World Cups, two British and Irish Lions tours and one of only five Englishmen to be capped 100 times.
Steve Borthwick's side will return home from France following Friday evening's bronze-medal match against pool-stage opponents Argentina.
Lawes, who has made 105 international appearances across 15 years, said: "I haven't told Steve yet.. but I will let him know.
"I've said to the boys, anyone that's asked. I think it's time. I've done four World Cups, so I'm pretty happy with that.
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"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. It's not always been the ups. Plenty of downs in there, but I've pushed through.
"I'm not an emotional person really, but it's just been a huge honour for me.
"To be able to finish with this group, it's something I'll treasure forever."
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Lawes made his England debut against Australia in 2009 when head coach 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 under Borthwick and is determined to sign off by helping the team finish third.
Lawes said: "We showed to everyone what it means to play for this team, 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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