Southwell forced into retirement

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:26
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Wasps and Scotland fullback Hugo Southwell has been forced to retire through injury.

Wasps and Scotland fullback Hugo Southwell has been forced to retire through injury, the English Premiership club announced on Friday.

The 33-year-old bowed to medical advice after suffering a hamstring problem before the start of the season.

Southwell joined the London side in 2011 and became captain the following season.

He made his Test debut in 2004 and went on to win 59 caps during the course of a club career spanning three countries that featured spells with Bristol, Worcester, Edinburgh and Stade Francais.

"This has been a very difficult time for me, and I am absolutely gutted that I have been forced to retire," Southwell said in a Wasps statement.

Southwell, who last played for Scotland against Wales at Murrayfield three years ago, added: "It is a situation that I never thought I would find myself in, and nothing quite prepares you for it.

"I believed I had so much more to give, which is why Terry Evans, our physio, and I tried everything possible to get me fit after I sustained the injury in pre-season last year. I am extremely grateful for all his efforts, along with the rest of the physio team.

"It has been an absolute honour to play at Wasps for the last three years, and to be named captain was certainly one of the highlights of my career."

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young added: "Hugo has been a brilliant addition to the team, both on and off the field.

"He was a leader for us during a very rocky period, and he, along with a number of other senior players, helped to save this club from relegation and set it back on the path it is on now.

"Though he will clearly be disappointed that he has been forced into retirement, he has a brilliant career behind him that most can only dream of.

"I speak for everyone when I say that we wish Hugo all of the best in whatever he does next."