Wales captain Kopczak announces retirement from international game

Wales captain Craig Kopczak has announced his retirement from the international game.

Kopczak, 31, currently plays for Super League side Salford, and made his international debut in Wales’ 50-10 victory over Papua New Guinea in 2007.

He became the national’s 44th skipper in 2012, leading them to a European Championship Cup tournament victory in 2015 and two World Cup appearances after failing to quality in 2008.

He has earned 22 caps, including a try against England in 2009.

Kopczak told the official Wales Rugby League site: “I have had the honour of representing Wales Rugby League on 22 occasions over the last 10 years and captaining the side for 13 games, and each and every game has been an absolute privilege.

“My highlight was captaining Wales in both the 2013 and 2017 World Cups. This was more than I ever imagined possible after making my debut in 2007 and these memories will stay with me forever.

“Unfortunately the time has come where I am to retire from international Rugby League and concentrate on my club rugby with Salford, allowing the new generation of Wales youngsters to take the mantle into the 2021 World Cup.

“I would like to personally thank all the coaches and players who I have worked with over the years and we will always remain friends. Mostly I’d like to thank my family who have supported me when Wales and international Rugby League has taken my downtime away at the end of every Super League season. This is never easy but never have they complained.

“I will always hold Wales Rugby League in my heart and hopefully have an involvement in the future in some capacity.”

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