Thomas suffered the injury in December during a game against Exeter Chiefs in his eighth appearance for Wasps, having joined earlier in the summer. Since then he has unfortunately sustained a number of complications including a re-rupture, leading to seven operations with possibly more to come, and has been forced to retire on medical advice.
The news is a cruel blow for Thomas who was showing great form in his early career for Wasps with his hard running and strong tackling game evident in the first part of the season.
Thomas has previously represented Cardiff, Celtic Warriors, Sale Sharks and Lyon and he played for Wales at all age levels up to Under-21.
He said: “The decision becomes a lot easier once it is taken out of your hands but it is still very difficult to accept. I would like to thank everyone I have worked with over the years, including coaches, supporters, players and my agent, Christian Abt. I am hugely disappointed to not be able to play a part in the ongoing development at London Wasps. Having witnessed first-hand the work that Dai Young and his team are doing, I am confident that they will achieve a great amount in the next few years, but I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It’s always very sad to see a player retire, especially when like Lee, they have plenty of years of playing ahead of them. It’s a real shame because when he suffered the injury he was really beginning to settle into the Club and starting to play some great rugby. Lee’s a good man and we will help him out in any way we can in the future.”
RPA Rugby Director, David Barnes said: “We all feel for Lee who has done his utmost to battle back from this Achilles injury, but sadly this has proved impossible. The RPA will continue to actively work with Lee to help him plan his next steps for life after rugby and will support him and his family wherever possible.”