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England Stalwarts Hang Up Their Boots

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Three of England’s greatest-ever rugby players have hung up their boots in the past week, with more retirements potentially on the horizon.

Ben Youngs, England’s most-capped player, announced his retirement after a stellar career, in which he featured at 4 World Cups and also played two tests for the British and Irish Lions on their 2013 tour of Australia.

The Leicester scrum-half made his international debut against Scotland way back in 2010, scoring the first of his 20 tries on his third cap against Australia.

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Fellow 34-year-old Courtney Lawes joined Youngs in quitting international duty after racking up 105 caps, the first of which coming against Australia in 2009.

The Northampton flanker, who also played six tests for the Lions across two tours, was a key man in England’s run to the semi-finals in France this year and like Ben Youngs leaves a great legacy behind him.

Gloucester winger Jonny May this week became the third England man to retire from international rugby since his country’s third-place World Cup finish.

The 33-year-old earned 78 caps for his country, scoring an impressive 36 tries, having made his debut in 2013 against the Barbarians.

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These three could well be joined by other names in the coming weeks, with 36-year-olds Danny Care and Dan Cole, plus 33-year-old Joe Marler the other veterans from the squad who could decide they’ve given their all for their nation.

These retirements mark a changing of the guard for English rugby, with youngsters such as Henry Arundell, Theo Dan, George Martin and Bevan Rodd ready to earn more caps, plus the likes of Jack van Poortvliet, Ollie Chessum, Ollie Lawrence and Marcus Smith, who already have double figures worth of appearances despite being 24 or younger.

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