Regan 'writes off' his England chances
May 9, 2008

World Cup hooker Mark Regan believes his England career is over as Northampton's Dylan Hartley is tipped for a place in the national squad to visit New Zealand.

Regan, a central figure in England's improbable march to the World Cup final seven months ago, won the last of his 46 caps against France in March.

Regan came off early in the second half of that England victory, with then head coach Brian Ashton praising him as a player others wanted on their side but France's Marc Lievremont describing his wind-up tactics as "grotesque".

The Mirror tips the 22-year-old Hartley to be among the hookers named in new team manager Martin Johnson's England squad next Tuesday.

And Regan, 36, who has another year on his Bristol contract, said: "I'm not going to retire - I did that once before. But in my own mind I know my England days are over.

"Never say never because last year I was in the same boat and I was picked to tour and stayed in the side all the way to the World Cup final.

"But I'm basically writing myself off. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with England but if I'm honest I don't want to go to New Zealand. I need a rest this summer. I don't know when I last had some real time off."

Hartley missed out on a possible World Cup place last year when he picked up a six-month ban for eye-gouging against Wasps.

The Mirror also suggested France flanker Serge Betsen of Biarritz will be joining London Wasps.


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