Wasps flanker Rees announces retirement
March 12, 2012
Wasps flanker Tom Rees has announced his retirement from the sport after failing to recover from a knee injury.
The 27-year-old former Wasps captain, who won 15 England caps after making his debut during the 2007 Six Nations, sustained the injury during a pre-season game last summer but, despite undergoing treatment, he has now been advised to stop playing. Rees said on his club's website: "I'm gutted that I have been forced to retire at a time when I feel I could have contributed so much more to my club.
"Whilst I will always think what might have been, I will also look back on my career and what I achieved with a great deal of pride. I would especially like to thank everyone at London Wasps, they have given me such tremendous support at all times through my career but particularly of late, and I am sorry that I won't get to repay them for that."
Rees joined Wasps in 2003 and, after progressing through the club's academy to the senior team, helped them win the 2007 Heineken Cup and 2008 Premiership titles. He represented England at almost every level, including Sevens, before making his full bow against Scotland five years ago. He was also named in England's 2007 World Cup squad but has seen his chances limited in recent years by various injuries.
Rees was named club captain at Wasps for the 2009-10 season but played only seven games after being forced to undergo surgery on a shoulder problem. He also missed the second half of last term to have another shoulder reconstruction before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in last summer's pre-season game against Agen - an injury that has brought a premature end to his career.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said about Rees' retirement: "This is incredibly sad news for Tom and for everyone at the club.
"His attitude and commitment to the club remained hugely constant even when he was out injured and I know his presence will be missed around the squad.
"Reesy though is a very resilient and intelligent man and I have no doubt whatever he does with his career he will make a success of it."
And Damien Hopley - chief executive of the Rugby Players' Association - also paid tribute to the flanker saying: "It is devastating news that Tom has had to leave the game in the middle of his career. For someone who made such an immediate impact for both Wasps and England to have to walk away from the game he loves at the age of 27 is shattering. Not long ago Tom was tipped to be a future captain of England so this proves just how cruel the game can be that he was never able to fulfil his undoubted potential.
"Tom is an extremely popular player who is hugely respected by his peers and coaches for his attitude, commitment and high standards. He is also a very intelligent young man who we have been working with closely through the Player Development Programme to access further education options and I have no doubt that he has the aptitude and determination to fulfil his ambition of gaining a degree in medicine. On behalf of everyone at The RPA, I would like to wish Tom every success for the future and we look forward to working with him and helping him through these challenging times."
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