Wasps confirm Christian Wade's immediate retirement from rugby amid NFL links
Wasps winger Christian Wade has announced his retirement from rugby union amid reports that he is to try to make a move into the NFL.
The 27-year-old has been released from his contract on confidential terms, Wasps said in a club statement.
"After playing nine years of professional sport for Wasps, I've decided to leave for personal reasons," said Wade, who won his only England cap in 2013 and is currently third on the Premiership's all-time try scorer list with 82.
"I would like to thank Wasps chairman Derek Richardson and Dai (Young, director of rugby) for their support, consideration and understanding in what is the most difficult decision of my life.
"I have loved the sport since I was introduced to it at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has played a part in shaping my career."
Wasps are currently third in the Gallagher Premiership and bottom of their Heineken Champions Cup group after Saturday's 35-35 draw with Bath.
"It's very disappointing to lose a player of Wadey's quality at this stage of the season," Young said.
"The club held numerous discussions with him to try and convince him to keep pushing forward with Wasps, but in the end it was clear this is the path he wished to go down.
"The club nevertheless wants to wish him all the best with his future career path and put on record our thanks for the contribution Christian has made to Wasps Rugby."