Good on them for going now. Thanks very much gents. Also good on
Lancaster for continuing the building process. Flood and Hartley are
experienced enough now to act as the senior pros, so it makes a lot of
England fly-half Charlie Hodgson and *** Lee Mears have retired from
The pair made the decision following a discussion with head coach Stuart
Lancaster shortly after returning from international duty in South Africa.
"I cannot thank them enough for the support they have given me and this
young squad," said the England boss.
Saracens fly-half Hodgson, 31, made 38 international appearances while
Bath *** Mears, 33, won 42 caps.
"Both Charlie and Lee in the last six months have been outstanding
senior players," added Lancaster. "With 80 caps between them they have a
vast amount of experience and that has been invaluable.
"I had chats with both of them in South Africa and our thoughts were not
too dissimilar - that if we are building a team for 2015 then, just as
we did in January, we have to decide on which players will take us
forward and be in the mix in three years' time."
For Hodgson, the decision brings to an end an 11-year Test career with
England after making his debut in 2001, when he scored 44 points against
He toured South Africa with England earlier this month but failed to win
a place in the match-day squad for any of the three Tests, with Owen
Farrell and Toby Flood ahead of him.
"I have been very proud to represent England over the last 11 years,"
"Wearing the shirt has always been the highest honour for me, not least
in the last six months, and no one would want to give that up."
Charlie Hodgson's England stats
International debut: v Romania, November 2001
Points scored: 269 (8 tries)
Lee Mears's England stats
International debut: v Samoa, November 2005
Points scored: 5 (1 try)