Fixtures - Top Bar

Wales international Thomas forced to retire

Wales international Jonathan Thomas has been forced to retire from playing rugby at the age of 32.

Thomas, who helped guide Warriors back to the Aviva Premiership last season, was diagnosed with epilepsy last year which is thought to be from multiple head traumas and has led to a degree of brain injury.
 
And the Warriors back-row has now been forced to hang up his boots following medical advice.
 
Warriors High Performance Director Nick Johnston said: "We've sought the best medical opinion in the country in order to try and enable Jonathan to prolong his career.
 
"But unfortunately on the advice of consultants, he has been advised to retire from professional rugby."
 
During a successful international career amassing 67 appearances for Wales, Thomas played a starring role at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and was named in eight consecutive Six Nations squads between 2004 and 2011, featuring in two Grand Slam winning teams.
 
At club level, Thomas enjoyed a ten-year spell at Welsh region Ospreys where he made a club-record equalling 188 appearances, including four league titles and an Anglo-Welsh cup.
 
He then moved to Sixways in 2013, making 44 appearances for Warriors in two seasons.
 
Director of Rugby Dean Ryan added: "It's with great sadness that after all his efforts Jonathan has had to concede his fight to continue playing rugby.
 
"This is a great opportunity to celebrate all of his success as a player but also to go on record in how grateful I am in the courageous decision he took to come and join me here at Warriors.
 
"Some of our greatest challenges have come during these first two years to ensure we redirect this Club to a more successful future and Jonathan's actions have been fundamental to this.
 
"I wish him and his family success in their next steps in life."

After announcing his retirement from rugby, Wales international Jonathan Thomas has released the following statement:

"It's with real sadness I have to announce my retirement from the game with immediate effect.
 
"I was diagnosed with epilepsy last season, which is thought to be from multiple head traumas and has led to a degree of brain injury.
 
"I've done everything in my power to keep playing, however, there comes a point when you realise you need to listen to medical experts and also do what's best for your wellbeing.
 
"I'm keen to stress there are many different types of epilepsy and I'm fortunate to only suffer from it in a mild way compared to some. Naturally though, it has proved too difficult to continue as a professional athlete.
 
"I have been working closely with my medical team and consultant for many months and hoped this was something that could be managed in order for me to continue playing but sadly this isn't the case.
 
"I'm extremely grateful to the Warriors medical staff and management for all the support they have given me during this time.
 
"I'd like to thank each player, member of staff and the supporters associated with every team I have played for throughout my career.
 
"I'll always remember my beginnings at Pembroke RFC before starting professional life at Swansea RFC. I was proud to captain the All Whites when they were still a professional club. Then came the formation of the Ospreys which was a really exciting time.
 
"To go on and represent the region for ten years, winning four league titles and an Anglo-Welsh cup is something I'll always remember. It's great to see the region so established with such a strong culture there and I'll always regard myself as a true Osprey.
 
"I've really enjoyed my time with Worcester Warriors which has obviously been a transitional time for the Club.
 
"My last memories on a rugby pitch will always be the two-legged play-off final against Bristol and that is something that will stay with me forever.
 
"Everyone at the Club has been great to me and I wish them every success for the future, none more so than the loyal Warriors supporters. I have no doubt that will be the case with the facilities, coaches and vision the Club has, from the Board level down to the Academy.
 
"I must say though the highlight of my career has been representing Wales. I grew up as a mad Welsh rugby fan and to have played with so many great players, won two Grand Slams, played in two World Cups and gained 67 caps, is something I used to dream about as a youngster.
 
"In regards to the immediate future, I'm going to take some time out but have no doubt I'll stay involved with the game in some capacity. I'd also like to get involved with charity work specifically related to head injury and help people gain a better understanding of what trauma can cause and how to deal with it.

"I've learnt a huge amount during the last few months about head trauma, seizures and epilepsy, and it would be great if I could help out in some way.
 
"At the elite level of the game I think the unions and medical departments of clubs do a great job and have a great understanding but I still think it's the players who need more educating about the warning signs and getting out of that 'digging in' mentality.
 
"Grass roots also need as much help and support as possible in regards to this subject.
 
"I must stress however, in no way would I discourage anyone from playing the game that has given me so much. Also in no way do I regret anything about my rugby career and I wouldn't change a thing.

"Lastly, I'd like to thank my beautiful family – my wife Laura for the support she has always given me, especially over the last 12 months during what must have been a worrying time for her, and my two children Kobi and Maya who make me smile every day. I look forward to putting them first and enjoying an exciting future together.
 
"I have always played the game I love for personal desire but also to make my whole family proud – in particular my mum Elizabeth who has done so much for me in my life, not only in terms of support, but instilling good values and shaping me as a person – and also my sister Nicola and my late father Adrian who died in 2004 – but proud he saw me pull on the red jersey.
 
"I will always remember fondly the trophies and accolades won, but for me the game of rugby is about the people you meet along the way. I hope I've been a good teammate and have shared some hilarious experiences with many great lads.

"Thanks to every one of you. It's been an absolute pleasure."

Latest News

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey

Gloucester Rugby make just one change for trip to Bath

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that triumphed in La Rochelle last weekend, making just one…

Mariano Galarza

Exeter Chiefs side to face Northampton Saints

Rob Baxter says it’s vital his Exeter Chiefs grasp every opportunity afforded to them as they look to maintain their…

Gareth Steenson

Leicester Tigers team news for final home game

Graham Kitchener and Adam Thompstone will make their 100th starting appearances in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the final home…

Adam Thompstone

Team News for Bristol Rugby to face Saracens

Olly Robinson returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Rugby face reigning Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday (3pm KO). The…

Olly Robinson

Four Changes For Sharks Ahead of Tigers Clash

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Leicester Tigers this Saturday at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership…

Josh Charnley

Callum Chick not given up on top-six finish for Newcastle Falcons

Promising Newcastle Falcons flanker Callum Chick hasn't given up on helping his side qualify for a Champions Cup place next…

Jack Singleton still buzzing after baptism of fire at Worcester Warriors

Jack Singleton admits he never expected to get as much Aviva Premiership Rugby game time as he has had this…

Saracens sign Wales international lock Dominic Day

Saracens have completed the signing of Wales international lock forward Dominic Day for the for the upcoming 2017/18 season. 31-year…

Dominic Day

Tom Heathcote extends his stay at Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Scotland international Tom Heathcote has put pen to paper on a new contract…

Tom Heathcote

Minimum standards criteria results

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has considered the findings of an independent audit report of the Greene King IPA Championship…

World Rugby welcomes Berlin Consensus Statement on concussion in sport

Expert group publishes comprehensive review of scientific papers on concussion Rugby continues to be aligned with recommended best practice Cross-sport…

Mark Lambert issues rallying call for Harlequins’ top-six push

A third season in a row without top flight European rugby is not an option for a club of Harlequins’…

Gloucester’s Henry Trinder: Top-six place at stake adds to West Country derby

Gloucester will be travelling to The Rec for their West Country derby against Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday…

Henry Trinder