England Women's rugby trio retire following World Cup triumph

A general view of Twickenham Stadium on May 2, 2013
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England Women's trio Margaret Alphonsi, Joanna McGilchrist and Katherine Merchant all retire following the team's victory at the Rugby World Cup.

Three of England Women's World Cup-winning side have announced their retirement from international rugby.

Margaret Alphonsi, Joanna McGilchrist and Katherine Merchant have all made the decision to hang up their boots following the team's victory over Canada in Paris last month.

Alphonsi ends her career with 74 caps, while McGilchrist and Merchant made 63 and 58 appearances respectively.

"I've been fortunate enough to have had a great sporting career and feel it's the right time to retire now that we are world champions," Alphonsi, 30, is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.

"I have so many special memories playing for England but the best one was winning the World Cup. I can now certainly retire with a smile on my face."

England's World Cup triumph was the country's second after they first lifted the trophy in 1994.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie faces the media at an end of tour press conference held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on June 24, 2012
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