Injured during preseason, Southwell has been given medical advice to give up the sport after a long career that spanned three countries and four leagues, playing for Bristol, Worcester Warriors, Edinburgh, Stade Francais and Wasps.
Southwell, an ever present figure in the Wasps team from when he signed for the Club in 2011, was awarded the Players’ Player of the Year after a fine and assured first year and was named Club Captain for the 2012/13 season.
Having won his first international cap for Scotland against Samoa in 2004, Southwell played in every match for his country until injury put an end to a 30-game run during the 2007 Six Nations. He went on to win another 29 caps, playing his last international fixture against Wales at Murrayfield in 2011.
On the news of his retirement, Southwell 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.”