Peacock quits international stage

Jamie Peacock has called time on his 12-year international career

Jamie Peacock has called time on his 12-year international career

First published in National Sport © by

England captain Jamie Peacock has announced his retirement from international rugby league with immediate effect.

The 34-year-old Leeds prop has decided to call time on his 12-year career on the international stage, although he will play on with Leeds, having recently signed a new two-year contract taking him to the end of 2014.

"The last achievement I felt I could have with England would be to right the wrong and beat the Exiles team and this has happened," he said in a statement released through the Rugby Football League. "To play and captain your country is the highest honour within the game and this was a decision that was not taken lightly."

His decision to step down from England now means coach Steve McNamara will have to find a new skipper for next Wednesday's second international origin game against the Exiles as well as the 2013 World Cup.

Peacock, who made his England debut against Russia in the 2000 World Cup and led England for the last time in their 18-10 win over the Exiles earlier this month, said he made his mind up to retire from international duty in January.

Peacock's statement continued: "In 2000, when I made my debut, it was beyond my wildest ambition and dreams that I would then go onto represent my country nearly 50 times and captain them for seven years.

"I felt that the time would be right for me to step down and solely concentrate on playing for my club.

"The focus for Steve McNamara and the England team has to be the objective of trying to win the Rugby League World Cup next year and for the next generation of players to be part of that process.

"While I feel there are deficiencies within Super League, the one aspect for me that made this decision easier was the huge amount of exciting young talent coming through the elite competition in this country. I feel now is the time for the younger players to rise to the challenge of trying to be the dominant force in world rugby league over the next few years.

"Whenever I have captained or played for my country against the best in the world I have always enjoyed rising to the challenge and played with passion, commitment and honesty. I believe that this current England team will continue to do the same."

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