World Cup-winning England captain Katy Daley-Mclean has announced her retirement from international rugby, ending a career which spanned 13 years at the top level of the Women’s game.
Leader of the team that clinched England’s maiden World Cup victory in 2014 before ceding the captaincy, Daley-Mclean retires on 116 caps for her country and throws the door open for Zoe Harrison and Helena Rowland to compete for the No.10 jersey ahead of next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.
Daley-Mclean’s esteemed career scaled the heights of four World Cups and eight Six Nations triumphs, and includes the feat of back-to-back Grand Slams achieved last month when crowned champions in Parma with victory over Italy.
Signed to Premier 15s newcomers Sale Sharks earlier this year, the World Rugby Women’s Team of the Decade inductee expressed the reasons behind her decision.
“This has been a difficult but relatively quick decision and feels like the right time,” said Daley-Mclean, 34.
“Becoming a parent 18 months ago was life changing. My daughter also plays a role in my decision. I don’t want to miss out on these precious years with her and the calendar would have meant spending a lot of time away.
“I am so grateful for the experiences the game has brought me. It has been a total privilege to be a Red Rose and I’ll be cheering louder than anyone for Simon, Sarah and the girls come October.”
Red Roses head coach Simon Middleton described Daley-Mclean, who scored 542 points throughout her international career, as “an icon of the game”.
“The word legend is used a lot but I would tag that to her because of the consistency of her performances over such a long period of time,” he said.
“The influence she’s had on the women’s game worldwide for England has been absolutely sensational.”
Daley-Mclean was also part of the England squad that lost to New Zealand in the final at the last World Cup in 2017.