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Wales international Alecs Donovan steps away from Test rugby on eve of Six Nations

Wales centre Alecs Donovan has announced she is taking a step back from international rugby just a fortnight before the Six Nations begins.

Swansea-born Donovan, capped seven times in union, made the announcement on Wednesday evening, three years after making her Wales debut.

The 30-year-old, who runs her own yoga company Yogability, shared her decision publicly and admitted her commitment to play for Wales is one she hasn’t questioned until now.

“And just like that; I’m closing the chapter”, she wrote. “I never thought that I’d be at a place to say this; which makes it harder in a way. I’ve decided to take a step back from international rugby.

“I never thought I would want to leave something that once was my dream. I still feel like one of the luckiest people alive.

“I’ve had the biggest highs; the biggest lows; the best times and the worst. I just know in my heart this is the right decision. I need to take a break and have some space away from it. I’ve fallen in love and had my heart broken by rugby. It’s always an emotional rollercoaster but one I wouldn’t change.

“The commitment we all show to play for our country is one people will never understand. I’m always in awe of the passion amongst the squad to play; that we are willing to give up promotions; potential families; friends; work; so much time and so much energy to play.

“A commitment that I didn’t question; until now. I will always be so proud of what I achieved in a short career but I’m just really excited to see what else comes my way next.

“Thank you so much for all your support. It means the world and I’ve had a blast.

“I’ll keep fighting the fight for women’s rugby; just from a different position now.”

Donovan, who also runs yoga studio The Yoga Hub in Cardiff, has worked with the likes of Bristol Bears, Wales’ Sevens squad and Sam Warburton during yoga sessions, and has introduced it to the likes of George North and a host of the Wales Women’s squad.

Donovan followed in her father’s footsteps to play rugby, with dad Alun Donovan – usually a centre – making his debut when he started at full-back for Wales against Australia in 1978 after injuries resulted in JPR Williams moving to flanker.

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