SARACENS’ AND ENGLAND’S South Africa-born prop Matt Stevens is to stand down from international rugby, the Rugby Football Union governing body said today.
The 29-year-old, who won 44 caps for England and appeared in two World Cups, has informed England head coach Stuart Lancaster of his decision and a replacement in the elite squad will be announced in due course.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make,” Stevens said in an RFU emailed statement. ”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.”
Stevens explained that “the time (was) right to call it a day” and focus on his club rugby, as he has a young family and was aware that he could not commit to another World Cup in three years’ time. Lancaster thanked Stevens for his contribution, saying that “he should look back on his international career with pride”.