Lancaster grateful to retiring pair
Stuart Lancaster has thanked Charlie Hodgson and Lee Mears for their services to side after they retired from international rugby.
Both Hodgson and Mears have found themselves down the pecking order at fly-half and hooker respectively, with the likes of Owen Farrell, Toby Flood and Dylan Hartley favoured by the England head coach. With the pair coming towards the end of the careers and England looking to build for the 2015 World Cup, the duo have decided to quit international rugby. Lancaster admitted he has been in talks with Hodgson and Mears recently and it was decided that now would be the appropriate time to focus on club rugby. He said: "I cannot thank them enough for the support they have given me and this young squad as we move forward. "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."