'End of an era' as Saints legend Lawes gets set to call time on England career

Courtney Lawes has announced his intention to retire from England duty at the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.
Courtney Lawes (photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)Courtney Lawes (photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Courtney Lawes (photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

England, who were edged out 16-15 by South Africa in last Saturday’s semi-final, have just one more match to play in the tournament, a bronze medal meeting with Argentina on Friday.

Lawes will then bring the curtain down on an incredible Test journey, which has seen him become only the fifth Englishman to reach 100 caps.

The 34-year-old has played in four World Cups and been on two British & Irish Lions tours.

"I think it's time,” Lawes said. “I've done four World Cups, so I'm pretty happy with that.

"I haven't told Steve (Borthwick) yet! But I will let him know.

"It's a bit of an end of an era, but it's been a real honour for me to represent England for so long. It flies by.

"I'm proud of the journey I've been on.

"To be able to finish with this group, it's something I'll treasure forever."

Lawes has made 105 international appearances across 15 years, having made his debut against Australia in 2009.

But after trying to help England finish third in the World Cup on Friday, he will focus on Saints, having signed a new deal at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens back in April.

"We showed to everyone what it means to play for this (England) team," Lawes said. "Play for your country and the boys alongside you.

"I think people can see now what a good coach he (Borthwick) is - and where this team can really go.

"We want to finish on a high. It's important for us to finish properly and send us all off on a good win."