England's Catt quits international stage

England centre Mike Catt, a 2003 World Cup winner who also played in this year’s final, has retired from international rugby.

The 36-year-old said he decided to call time on his England career before the 15-6 defeat by South Africa in last week’s World Cup final in Paris.

“I had made up my mind it would be my last international,” Catt was quoted as saying by the Mail on Sunday in extracts from his autobiography to be published next month.

“Others had come to the same decision. Nothing was said but everyone knew. Shortly before leaving the changing room we shook hands and embraced, knowing it was the last time as England players we would stand together in a huddle.”

Catt, like fellow World Cup winner Jason Robinson, who has also retired from internationals, did not make it to the end in the Stade de France, having to come off with a calf injury.

He was instrumental in England’s resurgence at the tournament, although he was not always fully appreciated by England fans who once booed him off at Twickenham.

Several others in England’s team may also have played their last international although hooker Mark Regan and number eight Lawrence Dallaglio, who are 35, have said they want to continue.

Catt was a veteran of four World Cup campaigns.—Reuters

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