Retiring England captain Martin Johnson said in a statement, released just before the end of Leicester's Heineken Cup clash with Ulster, that he had given the matter "a lot of thought".
The statement said: "This has not been an easy decision to make after talking to my family and friends, and after a lot of thought, I have decided to retire from international rugby with immediate effect.
"It has been a privilege to play for England, alongside some great players and with a great coaching staff.
"It has, of course, been a massive honour for me to captain my country.
"There have been many highlights - the Grand Slam, winning the World Cup - but most of all, I will remember the moments together as a squad, just before and just after matches, in the changing room.
"I would like to thank Clive (Woodward) and the other coaches who have worked with me since I made my debut, the guys I have played with and the fans who have followed us around the world."
Johnson, who has appeared in three Heineken Cup finals with Leicester, will continue to play for his club, and, with the Tigers poised for quarter-final qualification, Johnson still has a third European Cup winners medal in his sights.