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18 December 2020

She’s absolutely sensational: The world of rugby reacts to England’s Katy Daley-Mclean retiring from international stage

Fans, players and coaches alike have reacted to the news that England star Katy Daley-Mclean will never play an international game again.

The 34 year-old announced her retirement from the international stage today as she wants to spend more time with her 18 month-old daughter Addie.

She told The Telegraph: “My perspective and outlook have changed. Addie is a lot more important to me now than a game of rugby. I think that is the difference. It doesn’t get any bigger than trying to beat New Zealand in their own back yard in the World Cup but, for me, Addie is bigger than that.

“I was finding it harder to leave her, especially now that she speaks. She says ‘mama’ if she sees rugby, regardless of who is playing. Me leaving her was causing her a bit of distress because we had spent a lot of time together."

Daley-Mclean earned 116 caps in her career, won the World Cup and eight Six Nations Grand Slams in the 13 years she played for her country.

Now she has hung up her boots, the world of rugby has shown their appreciation for star.

Her club Sale Sharks, who she will continue playing for, said on Twitter: “No words can describe the impact Katy has had on Women's rugby, not only here in England but across the World. 

"You've only been a Shark for a few months @katymc10 but what a huge influence you've had on us all.”

Canadian Sevens player Ghislaine Landry said: “Congrats on an amazing career. Enjoy the rest - you deserve it!!”

England head coach Simon Middleton wrote an emotional goodbye to Daley-Mclean and credited her for moving the game forward in England.

He said: “The influence she’s had on the women’s game worldwide for England has been absolutely sensational. Katy will be massively missed from the programme. I dropped her a message to say working with her has made me a better coach and a better person because she asks so many questions and challenges in so many ways but the right ways. 

"It gets you to really think about what you’re doing as a coach and how you’re delivering your coaching standards. She knows her game inside out."

Broadcaster Rupert Cox wrote: “Katy! Gotta say I almost fell off my chair when I saw your news - but congratulations on an extraordinary Red Roses career. You're a brilliant person and a player without compare. Best best wishes for the future.”

Former England player Tamara Taylor added: “An absolutely amazing journey. You've always been a stand out player from the early days at @NovosWRFC right through to @EnglandRugby. Enjoy your new found time with family and the new projects. You and your body deserve it.”

Journalist Matt Merritt said: "Katy, it's a huge loss for the Roses and a huge loss for all of us fans too, but I'm so happy you could leave the game on top and on your own terms!

“Thank you for years of entertainment, for leading and inspiring so many other gifted players and for putting a smile on our faces.”

England Sevens and Worcester Warriors star Heather Fisher said: “Great shift bud ... And what a shift it has been x”

World Cup winner and England’s most capped player Rocky Clarke wrote: "Incredible servant to the game. Congratulations on a phenomenal career. X"

Gloucester-Hartpury star Millie Wood wrote: “Will always be such an inspiration to everyone and a real life hero.”  

Daley-Mclean’s former club Loughborough Lightning said: "What an amazing player! Good luck @katymc10 in your next chapter.

“We are very privileged to have been part of your Rugby journey and you will always be part of the Lightning family.”

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