Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap has announced her retirement from international rugby. Lillicrap has been Wales’ skipper for the last three years, including at the recent World Cup in New Zealand. A versatile back-five forward, she won 51 caps and was among the first twelve players to receive a full-time contract with the Welsh Rugby Union.
“I am well aware that rugby careers don’t last forever and I would never want to give the jersey any less than 100 per cent,” Lillicrap, 35, said in a statement released by the WRU. It feels the right time to make this decision and step back as an international player ahead of a new Rugby World Cup cycle.
“We all put so much into the last year getting ready for Rugby World Cup, and I am grateful to have had the chance to fulfil my dream as a full-time athlete for the last ten months. It meant the world to be given the captain’s armband in 2019, and that honour was never lost on me.
“Every single match, even the tough losses, mean so much to us as players, and that was the case for me. I cherished every moment and I feel proud to have contributed towards the future, too, and leaving the programme in a better place for the next players to come through.”
Lillicrap will continue to play for Gloucester-Hartpury in the Allianz Premier 15s competition. Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham added: “Siwan has played a huge part in the development of our programme and has ensured the future of the game is in safe hands.
“On top of her undoubted playing ability, Siwan has excellent leadership skills and her commitment to the jersey is second to none. She inspires the next generation, and I am sure we will work together again in the future.”