Thursday 19 April 2018

Wasps flanker forced to retire following freak judo accident while training with England

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Sam Jones of Wasps is tackled by Alec Hepburn during the Aviva Premiership match between Wasps and Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena on September 4, 2016 in Coventry, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Sam Jones of Wasps is tackled by Alec Hepburn during the Aviva Premiership match between Wasps and Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena on September 4, 2016 in Coventry, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Duncan Bech

Sam Jones has been forced to retire after Wasps confirmed a horrific injury sustained while performing judo on England duty has failed to heal.

Jones suffered an ankle dislocation, a fracture of the fibular bone, a rupture of the medial ligament and significant damage to ankle cartilage during a training camp held in Brighton in the build-up to the 2016 autumn series.

The uncapped 26-year-old, who incurred the injury while wrestling with Maro Itoje, has been unable to play since and - having undergone a number of operations - has been advised to hang up his boots.

"It's awful news. Being a director of rugby for 16 years, unfortunately it's not the first time I've known a player retire through an injury, but Sam's situation has really hit me hard," Wasps boss Dai Young said.

"He's someone I could rely on and has been a rock for me throughout my tenure at Wasps. Not only is he a fantastic rugby player, but he is a fantastic bloke as well.

"He was destined to be a Wasps legend and a club captain and I'm sure those things would have led to many England caps."

Jones represented England from Under-16 to Saxons levels having worked his way through the Wasps academy, making his club debut in 2010 and going on to accumulate 118 first-team appearances.

"Unfortunately, the injury was a complicated one and my rehab wasn't progressing the way we wanted, with multiple set-backs along the way," Jones said.

"I've therefore reluctantly had to listen to medical advice and retire from rugby. The decision was made for me, which was tough to hear. But it's a decision that I understand is in my best interests.

"For me, getting selected for England based on my club form was a huge achievement and I'm proud that was my last contribution to the game."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport