Wasps’ Alex Rieder has been advised to retire from professional rugby on medical grounds. The back row suffered lengthy knee and shoulder setbacks over the past two years and a particularly catastrophic knee injury has meant the 28-year-old has been forced to quit.
Despite being unable to continue playing professional rugby, Rieder this week underwent an operation on his knee to improve his standard of living.
Wasps and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) will now help Rieder post-operation and support his transition to life post-rugby before he leaves the club at the end of January.
“I’m obviously gutted that I have to retire from playing the game I love,” said Rieder, who made 32 appearances for Wasps. “It’s been a real rollercoaster with plenty of highs and lows over the past few years.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the club for their support throughout. I’ve made some fantastic lifelong friends and will always keep an eye on the boys’ progress in the future.
(Continue reading below…)
“I would like to also thank the Wasps fans who couldn’t be more passionate and welcoming, and also to my partner Victoria, family and friends, who without their support I could never have achieved my dream of playing for my dream club.”
Wasps boss Dai Young added: “It’s a terrible shame that Alex hasn’t been able to recover from his knee injury as he is a tremendous competitor and has been great when he has put on the Wasps shirt.
“We’d like to place on record our thanks to Alex for his services to the club and we all wish him the best moving forward.”
Wasps are sad to today confirm that back-row @AlexRieder1 has been forced to retire from professional rugby on medical grounds.
Thanks for everything Rieder and all the best moving forward. #OnceAWasp??
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) December 12, 2019
Rieder’s career began in the Yorkshire Carnegie academy from where he had a spell on loan at National League Wharfedale during 2011/12 before joining Championship outfit Rotherham Titans where he worked under current Wasps attack and backs coach Lee Blackett.
During the 2014/15 season, Rieder was chosen as his club’s player of the season in addition to being selected in the Championship dream team after which he made the move south to join Wasps in 2015.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 12, 2019
Rieder then capped a memorable Premiership debut by being named man-of-the-match in Wasps’ first win at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens in nearly a decade.
Two serious injuries wiped out most of his 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons – with 19 months separating two first-team appearances – although he scored against Saracens in September 2019 on a return to first-team action.
WATCH: RugbyPass Exceptional Stories features Ed Jackson on his incredible journey after breaking his neck at the age of 28
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now