Vunipola has been a stalwart for his country since 2012

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola has announced he is retiring from international rugby with England at the age of 32.

Vunipola made his debut for his country in 2012 against Fiji and has gone on to win 79 caps. He won three Six Nations titles, one of which was a Grand Slam, and was part of the team who reached the Rugby World Cup final in 2019. England went on to lose to South Africa.

Vunipola did not play in the 2023 Rugby World Cup as he had a back injury. He has not said if he is ruling himself out of the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour, having been selected for three tours previously.

“It’s been an honour to have represented my country but all good things must come to an end,” he said on Instagram. “The time has come to step away now. There have been lots of highs and lows.

“Would love to thank everyone who have helped me along the way. To my wife @alex_vunipola thank you for taking care of our family and all your support. Words don’t do it justice. To my parents I’m eternally grateful for all you have sacrificed for me to be here. Malo aupito and Ofa atu. God is good.”

The announcement comes just days before England head coach Steve Borthwick is due to announce his 2024 Six Nations squad.

His England teammates have congratulated Vunipola on his career.

Prop Ellis Genge said: “What a unreal career it was makdaddy, second best looking loosehead Englands ever had x”

Former centre for England and Saracens Brad Barritt wrote: “Congrats on a fantastic @englandrugby career Mako! A real privilege to play alongside you pal!”

Second row Maro Itoje simply commented with three goat emojis.

And centre Jonathan Joseph wrote: “Great shift Bic Mac.”

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