Rachel Furness puts Northern Ireland career on hold due to personal reasons

Northern Ireland’s record scorer Rachel Furness has announced she is taking a break from international football for personal reasons.

The 34-year-old Liverpool midfielder has netted 38 times in 88 appearances for Northern Ireland.

She started all three of the team’s matches at this summer’s Euros in England, where they were playing in a major tournament for the first time.

Furness said in a statement posted on social media: “A decision that I’ve found incredibly hard but one I feel is right.

“I have informed the Irish Football Association that I am making myself unavailable for selection for the upcoming games and training camps for the foreseeable future, due to personal reasons.

“I’d like to put on record that I am not retiring from international football and I hope to make myself available again in the future. I wish the girls all the best.”

Kenny Shiels’ Northern Ireland are back in action with World Cup qualifiers away against Luxembourg on September 2 and then Latvia four days later.

Promoted Liverpool begin their Women’s Super League campaign with a trip to Reading on September 11.