Vickii Cornborough: England prop calls time on Red Roses career after giving birth last summer | Rugby Union News

England’s Vickii Cornborough has announced her retirement from international rugby, saying she does not feel mentally ready to return after giving birth to twins last summer.

The 34-year-old Harlequins prop made her England debut in 2015 and went on to win 75 caps, six Six nations titles and reached two World Cup finals.

In her role as vice-chair of the Rugby Players’ Association she was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby Football Union’s updated maternity policy, which was introduced last year.

Cornborough told BBC Sport: “I’m probably the strongest I’ve ever been but I’m just not there yet mentally because having twins is really hard.

“Living off a couple of hours of sleep a night is not conducive to a high-performance pressure environment.

“Stepping away from the Red Roses and announcing my retirement is the right thing for me to do.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders to finally admit it to myself and say I’m ready [to retire].

“It’s a life-changing decision. It’s something I’m excited but nervous about because England has been my life for the last 10 years.”

She added in an England rugby statement: “It has been an emotionally tough decision to confirm my international retirement but it’s one that is right for my family and I, personally and professionally.

“I’m proud to have played for my country 75 times, won Six Nations titles and played at two Rugby World Cups. It’s been a dream. I have given everything to the Red Roses shirt and being the best player I can be.

“Becoming a mother has been one of the best things to ever happen in my life. It’s also an incredibly difficult and demanding job.

“I’ll be forever grateful for the support England and Harlequins have given me over the past year. It’s great we have made such positive strides to now be talking about, and supporting, women in rugby having children.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the next wave of Red Roses come through and I’m committed to aiding the off-field development of young players where I can. In the meantime, I’ll be supporting from afar.”

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