Cueto admits England days are over
July 17, 2012
Mark Cueto back in his England days © Getty Images
Sale Sharks flyer Mark Cueto admits that he is "not going to play for England again" but is also adamant that he will not officially call time on his international career.
Cueto last turned out for England in their quarter-final defeat to France in the 2011 World Cup and has since been out of the picture under Stuart Lancaster. With the likes of Christian Wade pushing David Strettle and Chris Ashton for the international wing berths, the 32-year-old concedes that his time with England is probably at an end.
"I'm still available but I understand the situation, I'm slipping out gracefully," Cueto told the BBC. "You always hold a little light but you've got to be realistic. I know I'm not going to play for England again.
"I'm not just going to announce my retirement because I know that. I never wanted to officially announce that I was retiring. It's not the sort of thing that I wanted to do. I'd always say I'm available but it's not going to happen now. I'm just going to look forward to working hard and playing well for Sale in my last few years."
With Sale embarking on an exciting new era under Steve Diamond and Bryan Redpath, Cueto is now focused on bringing the glory days back to the Salford side. "We want to give a good reflection of ourselves in the Heineken Cup," Cueto said. "We've got some fantastic teams coming to Manchester.
"It's a really tough draw but we've been lucky with the teams we've got, in terms of how big they are and drumming up support and interest."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers