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5th June 2019, 13:50 | englandrl
The Rugby Football League today pays tribute to Andrea Dobson for her immense contribution to the development of the women’s game as she calls time on an international career which has spanned 16 years.
The Featherstone Rovers Ladies captain has played in four World Cups, captaining England in the last tournament in Australia in 2017 – and has earned a record 24 caps since the Great Britain women’s team, for whom she had made her debut in 2003, were replaced on the international stage by England in 2007.
"I'm 32 now and I was 16 when I made my Great Britain debut, so it's been half of my life," reflected Dobson, who holds England Women's Heritage Number 8 after playing prop in the team's first match, a victory in France.
"But it feels like the right time, because I've got my young daughter to think about. I've played for the national team, whether Great Britain or England, for a very long time and have met some amazing people on the way, and had some excellent coaches which have made me the player, and person that I am now.
"I'd like to thank all those coaches, and all my team-mates over those years. The women's game has come a long way in the years I've been playing, and I've enjoyed being part of that.
"My favourite memories with England would be captaining the team for four years - there's no higher honour in sport. I'd gone to watch Great Britain women play Australia at Dewsbury as a 13-year-old fan, so to be captain of my country was a dream come true.
"The World Cups are always a highlight - and having my daughter able to come and watch in Australia in 2017 was very special.
"There was also a game against New Zealand at Featherstone which was special for me, even though we lost. I'll keep on playing for Featherstone in the Women's Super League, but I think it's the right time to step away from the extra demands of training and playing for England."
Dobson led Featherstone to a Grand Final and Challenge Cup double in 2012, and captained the club in the first Women's Super League Grand Final in 2017.
Still Always an honour to put an England shirt on and wear the badge topped off by receiving my cap and heritage number 8. Great win for the team #thefuturesbright #heritagenumber8 @England_RL @Jodie_cunny @sineadpeach 😜 pic.twitter.com/ZadlhsVFcr— Andrea Dobson (@DobboAndrea) October 29, 2018
Kevin Sinfield MBE, who leads the England Performance Unit as the RFL’s Rugby Director, said: "Andrea Dobson has played a significant part in the progress made by the England Women and Women's Rugby League more generally over more than a decade.
"On behalf of the EPU and the RFL, it’s a privilege to congratulate her on that contribution, and on her international career."