England scrum-half Danny Care retires from international rugby at age of 37

Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has retired from international rugby after winning 101 caps in an England career spanning almost 16 years.

The Leeds-born 37-year-old, who has made a record 369 Quins appearances, played in all five of England’s matches during this year’s Guinness Six Nations, including his 100th cap in the 23-22 win over Ireland on March 9.

He provided cover for Alex Mitchell throughout the championship and deputised in the starting XV when England’s first-choice number nine was injured for the defeat by Scotland in round three.

Care made his England debut aged 21 back in June 2008 in a defeat to New Zealand on their summer tour and described his time playing for England as a dream come true.

He posted on Instagram: “To play for England once was a dream come true. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get the opportunity to do it over 100 times.

“After a lot of reflection the past few months, the time feels right for myself and the team, to retire from international rugby.

“The past 12 months in this England team have been arguably my favourite, making memories that my family and I will cherish and remember forever.”

Care, who made his 101st and final international appearance as a replacement in the agonising defeat by France in Lyon on March 16 that saw a long-range penalty by Thomas Ramos seize victory for Les Bleus in the final minute, is just the sixth player to register a century of caps for the England men’s team.

Danny Care celebrates scoring a try at last year's World Cup
Danny Care celebrates scoring a try at last year’s World Cup (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Only Ben Youngs, Jason Leonard, Dan Cole, Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes have picked up more England caps.

Care helped his country win three Six Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in 2016.

He also played at two World Cups, in 2015 and 2023, having been dropped by Eddie Jones for the 2019 tournament.

Care made six appearances in last year’s tournament in France, helping the team reach the semi-finals, where they lost by a point to South Africa.

“I’m unbelievably proud to be English and to have had the privilege to represent this amazing country over the past 16 years,” he said on

“The team is in a really exciting place and there are some incredible young nines out there that I can’t wait to watch and support how they take the team forward.

“To (head coach) Steve (Borthwick), (captain) Jamie (George), the coaches and the whole back room staff, thank you for believing in me. I know this team is going to go on to do unbelievable things.

“I want to thank all the England fans from the bottom of my heart who have supported me and the team unconditionally throughout the years, all over the world.

“It means the world and nothing will ever beat the feeling of walking out to all of you at Twickenham.”

England v Samoa – Rugby World Cup 2023 – Pool D – Stade Pierre Mauroy
Care helped England reach the World Cup semi-finals last year (Mike Egerton/PA)

Care’s international career had appeared to be over following a disagreement with Jones in 2018, but his irrepressible form for Quins resulted in a recall under the Australian and he remained in favour under Borthwick.

Speaking earlier this month, he said: “If it had all finished a couple of years ago it would have been a bit meh, a bit rubbish, so I’m delighted with how the last year has gone.

“I owe Steve and the coaching staff an awful lot for giving me another opportunity for doing what I love doing the best.”