Wasps have confirmed that winger Christian Wade has retired from rugby union with immediate effect.
Sky Sports News understands Wade wants to pursue a career in the NFL.
We reported last week that Wade – the third highest try scorer in Premiership history – had decided to leave Wasps, but the club were unable to comment.
However, they announced on Wednesday evening: “Wasps can today confirm that winger Christian Wade has decided to retire from Rugby Union with immediate effect and has today been released from his contract on confidential terms.”
Wade said: “After playing nine years of professional sport for Wasps, I’ve decided to leave for personal reasons.
“I would like to thank Wasps Chairman Derek Richardson and Dai 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.
“Rugby has privileged and honoured me with so many wonderful memories, that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“Finally, I want to thank my Wasps family: the club, my team-mates and especially the fans – you have always been superb to me.
“I wish everyone here all the very best for the future.”
Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It’s very disappointing to lose a player of Wadey’s quality at this stage of the season.
“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.”
Wasps are currently third in the Gallagher Premiership and bottom of their Heineken Champions Cup group after Saturday’s 35-35 draw with Bath.
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