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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 07:58 GMT
Corry retires from England duty
Marin Corry
Corry won 64 caps over 10 years
Former England captain Martin Corry has decided to end his international career after turning down a place in coach Brian Ashton's 2008 Six Nations squad.

The 34-year-old Corry does not think he can maintain his high standards in both international and domestic rugby.

The Leicester forward, who has won 64 caps, told The Guardian newspaper: "It's just a shame I am getting old.

"If I could carry on for the next 10 years I would because I genuinely love playing for Leicester and England."

Corry, who also played six Tests for the British & Irish Lions, was a member of England's World Cup-winning squad in 2003 and a key figure in their run to the World Cup final in October.

He always led the side from the front in his own inimitable fashion

England coach Brian Ashton
"Brian rang me to say they were going to name me in the 32 and asked if that was what I wanted," he added.

"Unfortunately, I just can't keep doing it all. Something has to give if I want to keep playing to the required standard."

Corry's decision means Ashton will be shorn of another experienced player as he plans for the Six Nations opener against Wales on 2 February, following the retirements of Jason Robinson, Mike Catt and Lawrence Dallaglio.

"From a purely selfish point of view, I am really disappointed that Martin will no longer be featuring in a white shirt with a red rose because I know, as many others do, that he has worn it with pride and dignity for many years," Ashton said.

"He has been an outstanding member of the England rugby team both on and off the field over a long period of time and his contribution will be sorely missed.

606: DEBATE
SaracenChristo
"Martin has captained England on a number of occasions, often in difficult circumstances, and he has always led the side from the front in his own inimitable fashion."

Corry was a peripheral player for the first six years of his Test career, having made his debut against Argentina in 1997.

Of his first 21 caps, 16 came off the bench, and he had to settle for a bit part in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups, making just one appearance in the latter as the celebrated trio of Richard Hill, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio held sway.

But Corry established himself as a near-permanent fixture from the autumn of 2004, leading England in 16 Tests under Andy Robinson from 2005-06, a run that brought nine defeats.

With a World Cup campaign just behind us, I think this is the right time to step aside

Martin Corry
He lost the captaincy when Brian Ashton took over as head coach, but regained it for three further Tests at the World Cup last autumn, when Phil Vickery was suspended and then left on the bench.

After beginning the tournament as a replacement, Corry started all of England's six other matches including the final.

"I have had a fantastic international career and I have some marvellous memories of momentous games with England and playing alongside and against some great players around the world," he added.

"I am grateful to all of the coaches who gave me those opportunities with England but, with a World Cup campaign just behind us, I think this is the right time to step aside.

"Being involved with the national squad is a highlight for any player and I was also fortunate enough to be involved in three World Cup squads and captain my country, which I see as the ultimate honour for a professional sportsman."

SEE ALSO
Debate: Unsung hero Corry
08 Jan 08 |  Sport Homepage
2008 Six Nations fixtures
11 Jan 07 |  Fixtures
Ashton to name Six Nations picks
07 Jan 08 |  English
Ashton gets support of Wilkinson
10 Dec 07 |  Rugby Union
England 6-15 South Africa
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
Vickery is true captain - Corry
26 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Boks bashing was a shock - Corry
15 Sep 07 |  English


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