Wasps prop forced to retire

Date published: May 14 2015

Wasps have confirmed that John Yapp has unfortunately been forced to retire from rugby on medical grounds, with immediate effect, due to a back injury.

The 32 year-old-prop, whose professional career has spanned 13 years including a decade with Cardiff RFC / Cardiff Blues, joined Wasps for the 2014/15 season after spells with Edinburgh and London Irish.

During his impressive career, Yapp won 21 caps for Wales, with his last international coming against France in the 2011 Six Nations. His first cap came at the age of 21 when he came on as a replacement in the victory over England in the RBS 6 Nations in February 2005, during the team's Grand Slam winning season.

Yapp said: "Obviously, you never see yourself having to finish rugby early through injury, but in many ways I feel privileged to have been able to play the game I love for so many years. It's a hard feeling to get to grips with, knowing I will never be able to get out on the pitch for another game of rugby.

"I would like to thank Dai [Young], the Wasps coaching team, players and medical staff for all their support and effort. Unfortunately, while the mind is willing, the body isn't, but I can look back with great pride and a sense of satisfaction on a long career. I have had the privilege of representing my country – something many of us dreamed about as young lads growing up in Wales – as well as some fantastic clubs and regions.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends. Anyone who plays professional sport knows it takes a lot of dedication and commitment, not just from players but also from their families and friends, and I would like to thank them for their support over so many years.

"I have been lucky to play with and against so many great players during my rugby career and I will look back over the years with great memories, of both the good times and the bad, which only served to make teams stronger. I have made friends for life through the game and the rugby community will always be very important to me.”

Wasps' Director of Rugby Dai Young said: "It is always sad to see a player forced to retire before they are ready, but John can look back with immense pride at everything he has achieved in the game over the past 13 years.

"I remember him as a 19-year-old when I was player/coach at Cardiff and he went on to develop into a top class prop for his country as well as his club. He is also a fantastic guy to boot and on behalf of everyone at Wasps, I wish John and his family the very best for the future.”