Matt Stevens, the England international prop for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Union side Saracens FC has called time on his international rugby career in order to concentrate on his club. The forward has been capped 44 times by the England Rugby team and was a part of the squads that went to play in the Rugby World Cups of 2007 and 2011.
However, the 29 year old feels that it would be difficult for him to commit to England team for the next World Cup in 2015 as well, and as a result as decided to call time on his international Test career to fully focus on his club.
Stevens released a statement regarding his international retirement, which read that it was one of the most difficult decisions that he has had to take in his life.
He added that it was an honor for him to play for the England national team and to put on that white shirt, and admitted that he felt privileged having had the opportunity to play with some really great players of his time. He went on to add that he believed that England are going in the right direction under the stewardship of their manager Stuart Lancaster as they aim for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and stated that he will still be a huge admirer of the team.
The retirement of Stevens shows once again the growing attraction of club rugby and with Saracens FC being one of the richest and well supported clubs in the country; it is not difficult to understand that Stevens was lured by the prospect of better pay and a secure future. It can also be stated that the likes of Saracens FC, which pays huge wages to its players would be brought under a certain wage cap to stop raw talents from quitting Test rugby.