London Wasps' Dan Ward-Smith quits with back injury
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
Wasps number eight Dan Ward-Smith has retired following medical advice on a back injury.
The 33-year-old has not played since suffering a lumbar spinal injury against Bath in April.
A former Bristol and Plymouth forward, Ward-Smith joined Wasps two years ago and made 49 appearances for the Adams Park side.
"Having to give up the game you love and your career at the same time is beyond devastating," he said.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet and the emotion is still quite raw. With the injury I have I don't have any choice but to stop playing which for me is bitterly disappointing.
"I want to thank everyone who has had an input in my career at any point, all of my coaches and the players I have played with, the supporters who have cheered me on and especially my wife Jamie who has been hugely supportive throughout a tough few months."
After making his England Saxons debut in 2006 he came close to earning a full senior cap on two separate occasions, but was ruled out of the 2007 Six Nations by a knee injury and suffered the same fate a year later when he broke his hand.
He will now move back to Bristol to pursue coaching qualifications.