Danny Care retires from England after chat with wife Jodie as 101-cap legend bids goodbye | Rugby | Sport

In an emotional social media post, the Harlequin wrote: “To play for England once was a dream come true. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get the opportunity to do it over 100 times.

“After a lot of reflection over the past few months, the time feels right for myself and team to retire from international rugby. The past 12 months have been arguably my favourite, making memories that my family and I will cherish and remember forever.”

Following the Six Nations, Care revealed he planned to sit down with wife Jodie and discuss his future in the sport, and in his announcement vowed to continue to follow the Red Roses as a fan. “I’m unbelievably proud to be English and to have had the privilege to represent this amazing country over the past 16 years,” he added.

“The team is in a really exciting place and there are some incredible young 9’s out there that I can’t wait to watch and support how they take the team forward. To Steve (Borthwick), Jamie (George), the coaches and the whole back room team staff, thank you for believing in me. I know this team is going to go on to do unbelievable things.”

Care’s gratitude towards senior management is particularly poignant, given his international career appeared over in 2018 when he was dropped by then-coach Eddie Jones. He didn’t return to the squad until the tour of Australia in 2022. But after Borthwick took charge, again his days in an England shirt appeared numbered when he was axed for the 2023 Six Nations.

But his club form led to another recall for the World Cup in France late last year, where he played in six of England’s seven matches before an agonising semi-final defeat against South Africa. But it was Northampton’s Alex Mitchell who was considered the first-choice, with Care restricted to an impact role off the bench. 

Care’s international bow actually came on the 7s circuit in 2006, before making his debut for the full senior side in Auckland against New Zealand two years later. He went on to become only the sixth player to reach a century of caps for his country, winning three Six Nations titles and scoring 14 international tries in the process.

He will continue to add to his record 369 appearances for Harlequins, where he’s won two Premiership rugby titles. Director of rugby Billy Millard said on the club website: “We’re incredibly proud of Danny and everything he has achieved for England. He’s been the ultimate professional for the past 15 years and worked extremely hard to fight his way back to achieve 101 caps. It’s a huge testament to his character, hard work and professionalism and we congratulate him on a fantastic England career and look forward to his continued impact at Quins.”

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