Wasps centre James Downey to retire after 13-year rugby career
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 18/05/16 4:25pm
Wasps and Ireland centre James Downey is to retire from professional rugby next month in order to embark on a career in the financial world.
The 35-year-old has been at Wasps since joining on loan from Glasgow in February last year and his contract was extended after he impressed for the Premiership side.
However, he has decided to call it a day at the end of the season and said: "I have really enjoyed every moment of being a professional player, and I have been lucky to have represented some great teams along the way.
"I am one of the lucky ones who can finish on my own terms, not having it cut short like so many do.
"I've loved every minute along the way and been fortunate to have had a few successful years too, but now I am looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life.
"I would like to thank everyone at Wasps for such an enjoyable time here, especially this year, having reached a European semi-final, and still with a Premiership semi-final to look forward to (against Exeter on Saturday).
"It's a great group and will only get stronger in the future."
Downey has enjoyed a 13-year professional career and, as well as Glasgow and Wasps, he has represented Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Northampton, where he enjoyed a particularly successful stint, during which the Saints won the Challenge Cup.
He also played for the Ireland A squad who triumphed in the 2009 Churchill Cup and earned his lone senior cap against Canada in 2013.
Wasps' Director of Rugby Dai Young said: "James has had an impressive 13-year career, representing some fantastic teams during his time in the top flight.
"He can look back with great pride on that career and, on behalf of everyone at Wasps, I wish James and his family the very best for the future."