Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap announces international retirement

Siwan Lillicrap has made 51 international appearances for Wales
Siwan Lillicrap has made 51 international appearances for Wales
©World Rugby

Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap has announced his decision to retire from international rugby with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old was pivotal in helping Wales Women's side players awarded full-time contract and helped her side to third place finish in the Six Nations and a quarter-final appearance in the World Cup last month.

Having made her debut against Ireland in 2016, Lillicrap has made 51 appearances for Wales.

“I’m well aware that rugby careers don’t last forever and I would never want to give the jersey any less than 100%. It feels the right time to make this decision and step back as an international player ahead of a new Rugby World Cup cycle," she said in a statement.

“It’s been a hard decision because the red jersey means so much to me but physically it certainly feels the right time. We all put so much into the last year getting ready for Rugby World Cup and I’m grateful to have had the chance to fulfil my dream as a full-time athlete for the last 10 months.

“It's been a whirlwind six years of international rugby. It was a dream come true to reach cap No 1 at 28 having fought so hard for so long on the fringes of the squad for that opportunity. That was in 2016 and so the 2017 Rugby World Cup was another huge milestone that I thought I wouldn’t get again.

“It meant the world to be given the captain’s armband in 2019 and that honour was never lost on me. Every single match, even the tough losses mean so much to us as players and that was the case for me. I cherished every moment and I feel proud to have contributed towards the future too and leaving the programme in a better place for the next players to come through."