England Rugby Prop Matt Stevens Retires From International Play

England prop Matt Stevens retired from international competition, the Rugby Football Union said in a statement.

The Saracens forward, 29, played 44 times for England, including at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. He called playing for England the “ultimate honor” but said he wouldn’t be able to commit to the national team through the next World Cup in England in 2015.

“I have a young family and, conscious that I would not be able to commit to the World Cup in three years, I have decided the time is right to call it a day and focus on my rugby at Saracens,” Stevens said in the RFU statement.

Stevens made his England debut in 2004 while playing for Bath. He was suspended in 2009 after testing positive for cocaine. He joined Saracens upon his return in early 2011, helping the team win the English Premiership title.

Stevens then resumed his international career and made the squad for last year’s World Cup in New Zealand, where he appeared four times. He also came on as a substitute in all five of England’s Six Nations games last season.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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