Lewis Moody has announced his retirement from international rugby in the wake of England's disappointing World Cup showing.
The 33-year-old flanker, a World Cup winner with England in 2003 and veteran of 71 Tests, was captain of the side which exited at the quarter-finals in New Zealand following a campaign dogged by controversy.
"I realised I might be making this decision before the World Cup started," Moody told The Mail on Sunday, for whom he writes a regular column.
"It's a big decision to make and I feel emotional about making it, but it's the right thing to do for me and for the England rugby squad."
Moody, who will now concentrate on his domestic career with Bath, added: "My time with England has been unbelievable, even if the last few weeks have not gone so well."
Moody admitted that England's below-par World Cup performance should be the prompt for changes both at skipper and among the wider playing personnel.
"It's only right for the team to move on," he said.
"There will be changes, maybe in management and definitely in some of the match-day 22, and if England want to start planning for a successful World Cup here in four years' time, then it is my belief that they should be appointing a new captain from February to see the team right the way through to 2015.
"Even if they still wanted me to carry on, there's no way I'd last another four years, so it is absolutely right to stand down now and give someone else the opportunity to captain England."