England and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola has announced his retirement from international rugby.
He made his Test debut against Fiji in November 2012 and won 79 England caps.
The three-time British and Irish Lions tourist was ruled out of England’s 2023 World Cup squad with a back problem and says “the time has come to step away”.
“It’s been an honour to have represented my country but all good things must come to an end,” Vunipola posted on his Instagram account.
“There have been lots of highs and lows.
“Would love to thank everyone who have helped me along the way.
“To my wife Alex, thank you for taking care of our family and all your support. Words don’t do it justice.
“To my parents I’m eternally grateful for all you have sacrificed for me to be here. Malo aupito and Ofa atu [Thank you and I love you]. God is good.”
Vunipola is currently serving a four-match ban after receiving a red card for a dangerous tackle on Bryan Byrne in Saracens’ Premiership game against Newcastle on 30 December.
He would have been available for England’s Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on 3 February, if selected by head coach Steve Borthwick, whose three World Cup squad loosehead props Ellis Genge, Joe Marler and Bevan Rodd are currently injured.
The New Zealand-born forward, who is the older brother of fellow England international Billy Vunipola, started his senior care
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