Bath hooker Lee Mears and Saracens fly-half Charlie Hodgson have retired from international rugby after being told they do not feature in the future plans of England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
Mears accepted the situation with grace and predicted a bright future for the evolving England squad.
The Bath man said: "The memories of playing international rugby will live with me forever.
"I feel privileged and proud to have experienced two World Cups and a British Lions tour and to have had outstanding team-mates.
"While I won't be a part of it, having seen what Stuart has implemented over the Six Nations and in South Africa, I am excited about the future of this group of players and English rugby and I wish them all the best.
"I have at least one more year at Bath left and with a new coaching team I am excited about next season."
Mears represented his country on 41 occasions and made one Lions Test appearance against South Africa.