St Helens forward James Graham has announced his intention to retire from the international game.
Graham,35, made the decision after informing Head Coach Shaun Wane he did not want to be considered for selection ahead of the World Cup.
The prop made his debut for Great Britain in 2006. He marked the occassion with a double against New Zealand. Graham holds the record for England appearances with 44, and is just one overall cap behind Adrian Morley.
On the news, he said:“Playing for England and GB, and representing all the people that have been a part of your career, is just simply an honour. I know it sounds cheesy but every time I’ve sung the anthem, I’ve looked to the sky and thought about those people. It saddens me that I won’t get to have that feeling as a player again.
“Without doubt the highlight is the series-clinching victory over the Kiwis at Anfield two years ago. I can’t speak highly enough of that group of men. After the World Cup in 2017 we had become so close, but we needed to cap it off with some silverware. We managed to do it in one of the best games of Rugby League played in this country in my opinion.
“On a personal level with the emotions of playing in my home city and having friends and family in the stadium to watch, that game will always be so special to me.”
England Head Coach Shaun Wane added: Whilst I totally understand James’s reason for retiring from international rugby, I am personally disappointed I will never get the chance to coach him.
“His record says everything about him – a true English great. I have watched every Test Match he’s played in, and always admired his competitive spirit and win at all costs attitude. I wish him well.”