Aug 3, 2018
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Rochelle Clark: England

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Rochelle Clark: England

I’ve lived a fairytale life – Clark

England’s most capped participant of all time Rochelle Clark has retired from the worldwide recreation.

The 37-year-old prop, who is named ‘Rocky’ and was a World Cup winner in 2014, gained 137 caps throughout her 15-year England profession.

“I’ve lived such a fairytale for the final 15 years,” she instructed BBC Sport.

“Getting my first cap was out of this world however to hit the cap report and surpass Jason Leonard, it has been a dream come true.”

She added: “There have been highs and lows however I’ve cherished each minute of it.”

‘A real rugby legend’

Clark will proceed to play for Wasps within the Tyrrells Premier 15s subsequent season in addition to appearing as head coach of Chesham Stags.

She grew to become England’s most capped participant when she surpassed Leonard’s earlier report of 114 in November 2016, and retires as essentially the most capped feminine worldwide participant of all time.

She final performed for England in opposition to Eire within the 2018 Six Nations, and admitted she solely determined to retire from internationals in the previous few weeks.

“It is in all probability time to let the children are available whereas we’re constructing to the subsequent World Cup,” added the veteran of 4 World Cups.

“But when they ever want me I would all the time pull the white shirt again on. I am going to in all probability remorse the choice in order that’s why I would like to go away the door open a bit of bit, however I am trying ahead to what occurs sooner or later.”

Pink Roses’ head coach Simon Middleton paid tribute to Clark’s service, describing the loosehead prop as “a real legend of rugby”.

“She gave as a lot off the pitch as on it,” he stated. “She’s been an absolute inspiration to us and embodies every little thing a Pink Rose must be.”

Clark was awarded an MBE for providers to rugby within the 2015 New Yr’s Honours Listing

‘We merely must go skilled’

Clark, who got here on as a substitute in opposition to Canada in 2003 to make her worldwide debut, has relished being a part of the evolution of girls’s rugby in England.

“We used to must pay to coach and for the equipment, and now the way it’s developed, it has been nice to make historical past,” she stated.

Clark performed nearly all of her profession with out a skilled contract and has known as on the Rugby Soccer Union (RFU) to completely professionalise the sport.

The RFU launched contracts within the 15-a-side recreation for the primary time within the 2016-17 season, however then controversially determined to not renew them following the 2017 World Cup.

“Having the chance to go skilled was a large factor and it paid dividends,” added Clark.

“We went to New Zealand and beat them in their own backyard after 16 years after which we had the spectacle of the World Cup remaining in 2017 with England against New Zealand.

“However it may solely be of profit if we are able to get skilled long run as a substitute of dipping out and in. Different nations are going skilled and we merely must go skilled too. We want the time to get better and the hours in coaching.”

Evaluation

BBC rugby union commentator Sara Orchard

“We’ll in all probability by no means see a participant of her like once more – 137 caps will take some beating, longevity and coronary heart. Identified affectionately as Rocky, the England prop has been a pillar of the England squad since her first cap in 2003. Inside girls’s rugby there will likely be excessive hopes she continues to develop as a coach within the recreation – any crew will likely be blessed to have her.”

BBC Sport – Rugby Union
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