Robinson retires from internationals

British & Irish Lion and England World Cup winner Jason Robinson has announced he is quitting international rugby to spend more time with his family. [more]

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British & Irish Lion and England World Cup winner Jason Robinson has announced he is quitting international rugby to spend more time with his family.

The 31-year-old, who scored in the final when England won rugby’s greatest prize, made his shock decision just days before the squad is named for the autumn Test series.

"I’m sure I’ll miss England – watching them as a spectator is not something I’ve experienced before. I will miss parts of it – the challenge and being with the lads," he said.

"I’ve had my fair share of glory. I came into the England squad at the right time and I’ve won everything going. And who would have thought I’d captain England given my rugby league background – it was something I’d never dreamt of.

"The last four years have been great and I’m happy I did my best. It has been more of a challenge for England over the last 12 to 18 months but now they have guys who will come through and take them to the next World Cup."

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Robinson revealed England coach Andy Robinson supported his decision to bow out of the international scene.

"I had a chat with Andy and he fully accepted my decision. He’s a family man as well so he could see my point of view. He knew there was little point trying to change my mind," he added.

"Andy is making an announcement on Tuesday and there was no point going to the meeting if I wasn’t going to carry on with England. It’s been a memorable time since 2001 when I got into the England team. There have been so many highs.

"But my family have sacrificed so much with me being away and it’s obviously very hard when you have a wife and children. We’ve just had another baby so it’s all hands on deck at the moment. It’s the right time to leave.

"This decision has been building up. It’s tough enough if you haven’t got a family and you’re away for some time. Coming and going is hard when you have young children and I want to be involved while they’re young.

"A lot of people see my career as starting from 2001 but actually it’s been going since 1993 on the international scene. Twelve years is long enough and it’s time to move on."

Robinson will continue to play for Sale Sharks and hopes his international retirement will prolong his club career.

"This will be the first time I’ve played club rugby by itself in 12 years and I’m looking forward to it," he said.

"I think we’ve got a good side at Sale but there are a lot of things we need to achieve to be one of the top teams. I’m pleased I’ll be around during international weekends when it seems we struggle a bit.

"It will be interesting to see how my body feels. I’ve been travelling and touring for 12 years so I hope this decision will give me a new lease of life.

"I’ve got two years left on my contract with Sale and maybe I could go on for two or three years after that."

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