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Injury forces Sam Jones to retire

March 29 2018

It is with great sadness that Wasps announce the enforced retirement of Sam Jones.

The decision has been taken based on medical advice from a leading consultant.
The 26-year-old suffered an ankle dislocation while training with England prior to the 2016 autumn international series.
This caused significant additional damage including a fracture of the fibular bone, disruption of the ligaments joining the main bones of the ankle, a rupture of the medial ligament plus significant damage to ankle cartilage.
After a series of operations, he has worked tirelessly in an attempt to return to action.
However, after making several abortive attempts, the hard-working back-rower has finally been forced to concede defeat and bring his playing career to an end.
Having worked his way through Wasps’ academy and represented England at under 16 and 18 level, Sam made his senior debut against Newport Gwent Dragons in December 2010.
He went on to appear alongside Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson and Christian Wade in the 2011 under 20 World Cup final, then in subsequent years to earn selection for England Saxons prior to his call-up for the senior squad in 2016.
Jones broke into Wasps’ senior side on a regular basis in 2011 and has remained there ever since, amassing 118 appearances including a number as captain.


Director of rugby Dai Young said:
“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. “When I came into the club we had a lot of retirements and injuries. We needed someone to step up and lead from the front and Sam Jones was that man. He was only a young man, but was someone I could rely on - he’s 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. His maturity and work ethic on the field shone off it as well.
“His physicality in everything he did on the field really stood out. 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.
“Whatever Sam turns his hand to, I’m sure he will make a success of it. Hopefully he’s not going to be a stranger and we will see plenty of him – in the meantime I’d like to thank him for all the support he’s given me and wish him all the best for his future.”


Sam Jones said:
“Unfortunately, the injury was a complicated one and my rehab wasn’t progressing the way we wanted, with multiple set-backs along the way.
“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.
“I’d like to thank the players who have kept me going through this long spell. Being injured can be extremely difficult, but having them around has made the process a lot easier to cope with.
“I must also thank the medical and conditioning staff at Wasps who have invested time in trying to mend me. It was an unenviable task and I’m sure they won’t be too sorry to see the back of me!
“And I am really grateful to the countless people who have sent well-wishes and support over the last 18 months or so. I’m sorry the outcome wasn’t what we all hoped for.
“It’s been great to be involved with Wasps for such a long time, and to play a very small part in a historic chapter for the club. Injuries happen in rugby and I’m fortunate that I got to play for as long as I did.
“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.
“Looking back, highlights were captaining Wasps in the London double-header at Twickenham, surviving relegation in my first full season and playing for the Barbarians against the British and Irish Lions in Hong Kong.
“I gave it everything and don’t have any regrets from my time playing. I’ve made mates and memories for life. Thanks to all those who helped me along the way and most importantly my friends and family for their constant support.
“I can now switch focus to the future, whatever that holds, which is exciting and daunting in equal measure.”


Club captain Joe Launchbury said:
“Hearing the news of Sam’s retirement is very difficult for our whole squad.
“Everyone associated with Wasps knows what a talented player he is and in the months leading up to his injury a wider audience was becoming aware of this.
“No injury comes at a good time, but this is especially cruel as it has prevented Sam reaching the top of the game, where he was destined to go.
“Jonesy is a hugely popular and respected member of the dressing room who can always be relied upon to raise morale. He is the epitome of a team man.
“Sam and I came through the academy at Wasps together and have since shared some amazing memories on and off the field at a club that means a lot to both of us. He is one of the first people I turn to for advice and one of my closest mates.
“I’m sure Sam, his partner Liv and family, who have been huge supporters of his career, will remain a part of the Wasps family. We all wish them every happiness in their next chapter.”

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Injury forces Sam Jones to retire
Discussion started by , 29/03/2018 11:18
29/03/2018 11:18
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29/03/2018 12:03

29/03/2018 12:05
Terrible, but expected news.

Still can't believe the extent of the injury.

29/03/2018 12:14
Although expected, it still is awful to get this confirmation. A Wasps through and through.

As much as the club & supporters are disappointed, I can only imagine his feelings given his promising career has come to an abrupt and early end.

Can he fit elsewhere in the Wasps family as a non-player?

Anonymous User
29/03/2018 12:15
Gutting for Sam, for wasps, for England. I'm heartbroken for him.

29/03/2018 12:17
Heartbreaking stuff for Sam, the Club and us fans. Some very kind words from Dai on Samís impact at the Club.

For a DoR that rarely shows any sort of emotion to have contributed a heartfelt/personal statement says a lot about Sam as both a player and a person.

welsh wasp
29/03/2018 12:17
And what a great player he was for Wasps. Stepping up when we faced relegation, always giving his best.
Very sad news and I hope he develops a good career in the future.
I am reminded of Tom Rees who, just like Sam, was a very promising player but also forced to retire because of a bad injury.

29/03/2018 12:20
Tragic to see his career end this way, and the club to loose a real talent

Good luck to him in the future

29/03/2018 12:29
Awful. Heart-breaking. I hope than Sam succeeds in all his future plans.

29/03/2018 12:32
Really gutted for the guy. Such a top man.

It's going to be really hard for him, being away from the banter in the first few months.

I hope adjusts well and excels in a new field of endeavour.

29/03/2018 12:40
Truly sad news, he was just starting to become an extremely top quality player and would only get better.

Gutted for him and his family.

When players get criticised for wanting more money, this is definitely one of the reasons. You just donít know what is round the corner

29/03/2018 12:41
Very sad but unfortunately expected news. Iím sure whatever Sam turns his hand to next, heíll be very successful. Best of luck Sam and donít be a stranger at the Ricoh. Weíd all love to see you around at match time.

John Tee
29/03/2018 12:41
Tragic news even though the longer it went on the more apparent it was that that may be the outcome.
Still very sad news though when finally announced.

29/03/2018 12:41
Very sad news.

29/03/2018 12:43
Awful news

Rob Smith
29/03/2018 12:59
Terrible, terrible news. Iím in bits. Been a privilege to play a little part in Sams Rugby journey, wonderful hugely talented man who gave every challenge his best shot and will always be a winner with whatever the future holds. Huge loss to Rugby, England and Wasps. All the very best Sam for the future.


29/03/2018 13:10
The news we were all dreading, gutting.

One can only speculate on the difference he could have made to England's back row this season.

Anyway, this is not the end, this is the beginning of something so good luck Sam in whatever you do next.

29/03/2018 13:14
Despite being expected for quite some time, it is still really awful news. So sorry that your burgeoning career has been stopped in this way. All the very best for the future, Sam.

Excellent tribute article in the Coventry Telegraph by Bobby Bridge.

Coventry Telegraph

29/03/2018 13:57
Very bad news, all the best for all that is to come Sam

29/03/2018 14:09
Terrible news. I wish him all the best and I hope he stays close to the club.

118 caps for Wasps is pretty special with the injuries thrown in. Who remembers him coming on as centre against Quins away?

29/03/2018 14:26
Gutted for him. Let's hope his future is paved with better luck. If he wants a mentor then he could not find a better one than Tom Rees.

Sat next to Tom at the final DW curry night in Ealing and he was exceptionally chipper. His medical career was progressing very well and he was still involved with rugby through coaching the hospital's rugby teams.

29/03/2018 14:27
Rubbish news for Sam, even if it had been speculated for the last few months.

I wish him well for whatever he does in the future and thank him for being a great player for us.

If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score? - Vince Lombardi

29/03/2018 14:32
Oh that is cruel for a guy with such natural talent. However a bloke with that much spirit will succeed in anything he puts his mind to. Good luck and thanks to Sam and family.

Roland Maul
29/03/2018 14:48
Dreadful news for such a promising talent. Well done Eddie.

29/03/2018 16:36
Sorry Sam. All the best for the next phase in your life, whatever that may be.

29/03/2018 16:39
Such a great shame for him and the club. Thank you Sam for all you've done for us and good luck for the future.

29/03/2018 16:56
The saddest thing is how different his life could have been...the worst fork in the road moment ever, if he'd had a niggle and could attend the must be hard to deal with mentally and takes a certain type of character to move on...something that I'm sure Sam will deal with much better than I ever could.

All the best mate, i'm truly gutted for you and hope you get opportunities in the game in some aspect.

29/03/2018 16:56
Poor bloke so young to have dreams snatched away and in such a cruel manner. All the very best for your future Sam.

Greenback Wasp
29/03/2018 18:50
Terrible news, can only feel sorry for the guy. I hang on to the hope that somehow, someway the injury settles down and he makes a miraculous recovery a la Steve Thompson.

29/03/2018 19:38
Very sad news. Someone Dai once tipped to be future England captain. Great player and even nicer bloke. Gave 100% every moment he was a rugby professional and I have no doubt he will do well in the next chapter of his life.

All the best and thanks for everything was a pleasure to watch. Incredibly gutted as stated above knew it was coming but I couldn't help but hope it didn't come to this.

29/03/2018 20:04
Just remember, Sam: one door shuts, another one opens. Best of luck with all you do.

29/03/2018 22:33
Best of luck for the future Sam, a true Wasp.

Guildford Saint
29/03/2018 22:53
Such a shame to hear. Best of luck to him going forward.

29/03/2018 22:58
Players with unfulfilled careers often make the best coaches.

Nigel Melville, for example.
Or Warren Gaitland.

29/03/2018 23:08
Tiger in peace

Wishing Sam all the best for his future.

We all know injuries and unfortunately sometimes retirement are part of the sport but this is so cruel.

England need to answer some serious H&S questions about that Judo session. Sam was not the only player injured if I remember correctly.

29/03/2018 23:18
tigersimon I agree.

I think our England coaches have a very limited understanding of the medical aspects of fitness and training.

And I am being diplomatic in my language.

29/03/2018 23:34

Thank you for the memories. Like many before, you have been taken from the game and Wasps fans far too early, but unlike many you were truly the real deal and would have gone on to amazing things. Iím sure you still will, in rugby or away from it.

All the best for all you go on to in the future. Youíll always be a legendary Wasp to us, especially for your efforts avoiding relegation.

30/03/2018 07:55
Exactly what Daz says - in fact, what everyone says. I can't write anything else as I get too upset. And too angry with You-know-who.

30/03/2018 08:43
Exactly what Daz says - in fact, what everyone says. I can't write anything else as I get too upset. And too angry with You-know-who.
+2 in this household. Mrs FW gets irate at the mention of EJ.

All the best to Sam, whatever the future may hold.

30/03/2018 09:17
It's difficult to know what to add really. Gutted for the guy. It's doubly sad because of all the injuries he had prior to the final carreer ending injury. It's not like he'd played a huge number of games before that Eng session. He'd fought back from all those and forced his way back into the Eng squad with every chance he was gonna impress EJ and become an Eng regular. Heartbreaking, I'm glad Dai has spoken so glowingly of him. He's right up there with Tom Rees in terms of potential. Best of luck Sam in the future.

30/03/2018 09:57
Interesting article re: Sam in the Telegraph, saying that the Wasps players (having played on Sunday) arrived at Brighton late and missed a safety demonstration given to all the other players. The Wasps players were not given a similiar briefing. This would seem to leave a lot of holes legally - well, to my ignorant mind anyway.

30/03/2018 10:08
Reading the comments on the Telegraph piece one Arthur Pendragon has said -

"I did martial arts, it is a build up from a zero base, half of it spent flexing and warming up. You don't start at the level they came in at.

If you take hugely strong athletes at their full power and start them unprepared for any other sport, they will tear their bodies. They are not used to the stresses of other sports and they don't have the flexibility or long build up over years."

I think he has a very valid point. He also said - "Let's take these players and throw them in the road to make them dodge traffic. Any bonkers ideas will do to make them more evasive, more multiskilled."

So very sorry for Sam (and Wasps) and wish him well for the future but I have to admit I am still very angry about this. Given Dai's heartfelt comments I suspect he would gladly strangle the English Coaches.

30/03/2018 12:16
Not his fault and very very bad luck. To happen on the cusp of his England breakthrough is especially cruel.

Hopefully he will launch immediately into something new and positive and not linger and let what happened get to him long term.

Think of Richie McKaw who is now a qualified helicopter search and rescue pilot or those who have become successful coaches. Tom Cruise (actor not player) turned to acting after a wrestling injury. Hopefully something very positive comes out of this.

Good luck to Sam.

31/03/2018 11:49
Sad times.
Hope the future works out well, and I also hope the legal and insurance side work out well.

01/04/2018 21:30
This is what worries me most. Having a grandson with a number of U20 caps and a senior position in a Premiership Academy, one is so proud on one hand, and yet so concerned that just one event similar to the one Sam Jones suffered could end it all. Yet, once he steps onto the field it is the happiest 80 minutes of his week and all he lives for.You can only support what they want to do best and hope nothing happens that is adversely permanent.

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