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England flanker Mark Wilson retires with 'immediate effect'

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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England flanker Mark Wilson has retired from rugby with ‘immediate effect’ – Newcastle Falcons have confirmed on their website.

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Wilson underwent knee surgery on a meniscus tear in September and missed both his country’s autumn internationals and the start of Newcastle’s season. He’s featured once this season, last month in a home game against Gloucester.

The 32-year-old came through the club’s academy and scored 42 tries in his 237 games. The 6’4, 112kg backrow won a total of 23 caps for England between 2017 and 2021, featuring in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final and winning the 2020 Six Nations Championship.

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

“I’ve been involved with the Falcons since I was a 14-year-old coming over from Kendal for academy training, and I’ve got some amazing memories. You never really know how you’re going to end your career, but for me, this is my time to call it a day.”

“My injury has made me re-assess where I’m at from a career point of view.

“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.

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“The overriding message I want to put across is just to thank everyone, by which I mean my family, my team-mates, my coaches, all the staff at the club and our supporters.”

Newcastle Falcons 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. I’m sure I speak for everybody associated with the Falcons when I say a heartfelt thank you for everything he has given us during his time here.

“Mark is a team man who has put his body on the line time and time again, he embodies our homegrown philosophy and we all felt an enormous sense of pride when he went on to do so well on the international stage. He has inspired so many local youngsters by coming through our academy and reaching such heights, and I’m sure he won’t be a stranger around the place.”

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