Claire Purdy announces her international retirement

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Rugby World Cup winner Claire Purdy has announced her retirement from international rugby.

The prop, who helped England lift the World Cup in August, has run out 43 times for her country and has captained England on two occasions. She is also the only player ever to have been capped in all three front row positions.

Purdy has been an integral member of the England squad since making her debut against Spain in 2005.  The 34-year-old has played in several winning Six Nations campaigns, was involved in England’s historic victory over New Zealand in 2009 and the 2010 and 2014 Rugby World Cups.

“Having  an international career spanning 13 years, starting in 2001 for England Students through to the Rugby World Cup this year, I have taken the extremely hard decision to retire,” said Purdy, who will however continue to play Premiership rugby for Wasps.

“I have had an amazing career over the years and I owe a massive thank you to many people including my employers, Zurich, who have been fantastic with their on-going support. The England management team, my fellow teammates and my friends and family have supported me through the highs and lows of being an international athlete, as well as my club Wasps who I have been with since I started playing rugby.”

England Head Coach Gary Street added: “Claire has been one of the world’s most skilful front rowers and she really set a precedent for that when she came on the international scene many years ago. As well as being a great leader, captaining many England squads, she has been a real stalwart for club and country. Claire will always give 100 percent in whatever she is doing and she will be sorely missed by everyone in the England set-up.”