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England flanker Mark Wilson retires from rugby

England flanker Mark Wilson has retired from rugby with immediate effect following a knee injury, Premiership club Newcastle announced on Monday.

The 32-year-old Newcastle captain won 23 England caps, including one as a replacement during England’s defeat by South Africa in the 2019 World Cup final in Japan.

“I’ve taken the decision to retire from rugby,” Wilson said in a Newcastle statement. “It’s a decision that’s been hard to make, but it’s the right one for me and my family right now.”

Wilson scored 42 tries in 237 games for Newcastle but has made just one appearance from the bench this season following surgery on his knee.

“My injury has made me reassess where I’m at from a career point of view,” said Wilson, who helped England win the 2020 Six Nations.

“That has been in the background and been in my thoughts quite a lot, and whilst it hasn’t been the case that the injury has physically ended my career in its own right, it’s certainly been one of the main things which has added to my decision.” 

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We’re all gutted and disappointed that Mark is retiring from rugby, but he has made a massive contribution to this club.

“He epitomises what we are about as someone who has come through our academy system, and can look back and be proud about what was a fantastic career.”

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