London Wasps centre Lee Thomas has been forced to retire after having failed to recover from a ruptured Achilles suffered last season.
Thomas suffered the injury in November during a game against Exeter Chiefs in his eighth appearance for Wasps, having joined earlier in the season.
Since then he has unfortunately sustained a number of complications including a re-rupture, leading to seven operations with possibly more to come, and has been forced to retire on medical advice.
The news is a cruel blow for Thomas who was showing great form in his early career for Wasps with his hard running and strong tackling game evident in the first part of the season.
Thomas has previously represented Cardiff, Celtic Warriors, Sale Sharks and Lyon and he played for Wales at all age levels up to Under-21.
"The decision becomes a lot easier once it is taken out of your hands but it is still very difficult to accept," said Thomas.
"I would like to thank everyone I have worked with over the years, including coaches, supporters, players and my agent, Christian Abt. I am hugely disappointed to not be able to play a part in the ongoing development at London Wasps.
"Having witnessed first-hand the work that Dai Young and his team are doing, I am confident that they will achieve a great amount in the next few years, but I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my life."
"It's always very sad to see a player retire, especially when like Lee, they have plenty of years of playing ahead of them," said London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young.
"It's a real shame because when he suffered the injury he was really beginning to settle into the Club and starting to play some great rugby. Lee's a good man and we will help him out in any way we can in the future."