England Prop Matt Stevens has announced that he has decided to stand down from International Rugby with immediate effect.
The Saracens prop, who won 44 caps and appeared in two Rugby World Cups, has informed England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. Playing for England has been the ultimate honour and I have been very privileged and proud to wear the white shirt and play with some great players,” said Stevens.
“I believe England under Stuart, Graham (Rowntree) and Andy (Farrell) are heading in the right direction towards 2015 and I remain a huge supporter of what they are doing. ”
“But I have a young family and, conscious that I would not be able to commit to the World Cup in three years, I have decided that the time is right to call it a day and to focus on my rugby at Saracens.”
Lancaster said: “On behalf of England Rugby I want to thank Matt for his contribution over the years.”
“He should look back on his international career with pride. I am sure he will continue to be successful with Saracens and beyond.”
Stevens’ replacement in the England Elite Player Squad will be announced in due course.