Rugby-England World Cup winner Daley-Mclean announces international retirement

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FILE PHOTO: Women's International - England v United States of America

(Reuters) - England flyhalf Katy Daley-Mclean, who led the women's team to World Cup victory in 2014, announced her international retirement on Friday.

Daley-Mclean played 116 times for England and became the third-most capped English player after Sarah Hunter and Rochelle Clark when the Red Roses beat France in their November internationals.

Her decision to retire comes as a surprise with England targeting another World Cup triumph in New Zealand next year. She has been in fine form this season, having helped England win successive Six Nations Grand Slams.

The 34-year-old, who played in four World Cups, said that the birth of her daughter 18 months ago played a role in her decision to quit the game.

"Having had time to reflect following the autumn internationals, I have decided now is the right time to retire from international rugby," Daley-Mclean said in a statement https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/daley-mclean-announces-retirement-from-international-rugby.

"This has been a difficult but relatively quick decision... I'd like to say a huge thank you to Nicky Ponsford (RFU head of women's performance) and Simon Middleton (England women's head coach) who have been great with me throughout my career.

"Becoming a parent 18 months ago was life-changing. My daughter also plays a role in my decision. I don't want to miss out on these precious years with her and the calendar would have meant spending a lot of time away."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)