Vicky Molyneux says she came through a "twitchy moment" as she signed off her international career in England's 60-0 win over Wales at Headingley.
Molyneux made her debut in England women's first fixture in 2007.
However, she feared that she was going to be sent off on her final appearance rather than sin-binned for a high first-half tackle on Brogan Evans.
"It was all so fast, and I didn't really know what happened," Molyneux told BBC Sport.
"I saw the replay, and it was a bit of a twitchy moment. I'm just glad she's all right."
Molyneux, 35, is the final member of England Women's inaugural squad to hang up her boots, having made her debut against France at the age of 19.
The Wigan Warriors second row would undoubtedly have earned dozens of caps for her country were it not for a decision to spend 14 years away from the international stage to focus on her family and teaching career.
But she made a sensational return in 2021 against Wales, then featured in all four of England's World Cup games last year, and was named vice-captain before this year's mid-season victory over France.
"I had to contain the emotion. I cried on the captain's run yesterday and I cried at my shirt presentation. Today it was about savouring the moment and enjoying it," she added.
"I wanted to end on my terms. I love Headingley. It's my favourite stadium to play at. It'd break my heart if I [went on and] never got picked. Now's the time to hang the boots up, and leave that shirt for another person to come and grab."
Molyneux made history at club level earlier this year as the first woman to be included in Wigan's Hall of Fame.
England head coach Stuart Barrow added: "To think that Vicky began her international career in 2007 is just incredible.
"It shows just how dedicated she has been to her craft that she is still playing on the big stage so many years later.
"Vicky is the ultimate professional and the leadership and commitment she has brought to this England squad is second to none.
"We talk about leaving the shirt in a better place and Vicky has done just that. Over 90 players have entered the England women dressing room since she made her debut, and she now leaves the squad in the best place possible with a legacy that will be admired for years to come."