WASPS' former club captain Hugo Southwell has been forced to retire from rugby due to injury.

He has been unable to shake off an injury sustained in pre-season and this week took the decision to retire on medical advice.

Southwell was named players' player of the year in his first year at Adams Park and was named club captain for the 2012/13 season.

He won 59 Scottish international caps over an eight year period - and in the summer months found the time to play cricket for Beaconsfield.

Southwell also turned out for Bristol, Worcester Warriors, Edinburgh and Stade Francais before moving to Wasps in 2011.

He said "This has been a very difficult time for me and I am absolutely gutted that I have been forced to retire. It is a situation that I never thought I would find myself in and nothing quite prepares you for it.

"I believed I had so much more to give, which is why Terry Evans, our physio, and I tried everything possible to get me fit after I sustained the injury in pre-season last year. I am extremely grateful for all his efforts along with the rest of the physio team.

"It has been an absolute honour to play at Wasps for the last three years and to be named captain last year was certainly one of the highlights of my career. I have met and made friends with a lot of great people and have played under some top coaches, most notably Dai Young, who I have great respect for. He is building something special here and there are exciting times ahead I am sure. 

"I look forward to following the progress of the team and being a regular visitor to Adams Park in the coming years."

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: "Since arriving at the club ahead of the 2011/12 season, Hugo has been a brilliant addition to the team, both on and off the field. He was a leader for us during a very rocky period and he, along with a number of other senior players, helped to save this club from relegation and set it back on the path it is on now.

"Though he will clearly be disappointed that he has been forced into retirement, he has a brilliant career behind him that most can only dream of. I speak for everyone when I say that we wish Hugo all of the best in whatever he does next."