Harlequins have announced that George Lowe has been forced to retire from the game on medical advice.
In a stellar career for the club, Lowe made 139 appearances in the quartered shirt, playing 9,935 minutes and scoring 28 tries across eight seasons at The Stoop.
Commenting on his retirement, 27-year-old Lowe said: “Every player is devastated when the decision to retire is taken out of their hands and it was the last thing that I wanted to hear when the diagnosis became clear.
“Despite every effort to get me back on the pitch, it was not to be, but I am immensely thankful to have had so much support from the Club and, in particular, from the medical staff.
“Rugby has given me so much; I have played and worked with so many great people, made so many friends, have some fantastic memories both on and off the field, for which I am truly grateful for.
“I know that I would not have been able to achieve what I have without a lot help over the years and I’d like to thank all those involved, particularly my family and friends.
“I will massively miss running out at The Stoop but it is now time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and I hope always to maintain a close relationship with Harlequins.”
The centre was educated at Epsom College and played youth rugby for Cobham RFC. After joining Harlequins’ Academy in 2008, he made his senior debut in 2009 against Wasps.
Lowe went on to form a centre partnership with Jordan Turner-Hall that proved to be a vital cog in Harlequins’ attacking game during the club’s most successful period in the professional era.
The centre helped Harlequins secure the 2011 Challenge Cup with 32 appearances and ten tries across the 2010/11 season.
Lowe was an integral part of the Harlequins squad that won the Premiership a year later, making 21 appearances across the season and playing 80 minutes in the final against Leicester Tigers.
A year later after success in the Premiership Final, Lowe also played 80 minutes in Harlequins’ 2013 LV= Cup Final victory over Sale Sharks.
In his time with the club, Lowe picked up three pieces of silverware and is the only player to feature in all four of the major finals Harlequins have competed in since 2011, his last appearance coming in the 2016 European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
The 27-year-old has represented England U20s during the Six Nations and Junior World Championships in 2009. In 2012, he was called up by Stuart Lancaster for England’s tour to South Africa where he started against the Southern Barbarians.
Harlequins’ Director of Rugby, John Kingston added: "It was a very sad day when George told me, on medical advice, that he had been forced to retire from the game.
“George has been an absolutely fantastic servant to the club, coming through the Academy and being pivotal to the success in winning domestic and European honours.
"He will be sorely missed as a player and a person and I would like to extend on behalf of Harlequins our sincere gratitude to the service given over so many years."