England prop Mako Vunipola announces retirement from international rugby

Mako Vunipola has played 71 times for England
Mako Vunipola has played 71 times for England

England have been dealt another blow ahead of the Six Nations tournament with Saracens prop Mako Vunipola announcing retirement from international rugby.

Vunipola, who is currently on a four-game ban made his England debut against Fiji in November 2012 and has represented them in 71 Tests. He featured for the British and Irish Lions in the 2013, 2017 and 2021 tours and represented them in nine games.

Injuries hampered his career at different stages with a back surgery ruling him out of the Rugby World Cup last year in France. He was initially expected to be part of Steve Borthwick's Six Nations squad but has decided to quit Test rugby.

“It’s been an honour to have represented my country but all good things must come to an end,” he posted on his Instagram account.

“The time has come to step away now. There have been lots of highs and lows. Would love to thank everyone who have helped me along the way.

“To my wife @alex_vunipola 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. God is good.”

Vunipola has won the 2016, 2017 and 2020 Six Nations titles with England and was part of the 2019 World Cup squad that reached the final. He also enjoyed four Premiership titles, three European titles and a Championship triumph with his club Saracens.