Italy international Andrea Masi forced to retire due to Achilles injury
Italy international Andrea Masi has been forced to retire from professional rugby because of an injury suffered during last autumn's World Cup.
Masi's club Wasps and the Italian Rugby Federation announced that the 35-year-old had failed to recover from an Achilles tendon injury and had retired on medical advice.
The full-back or centre won 95 Test caps and was part of four World Cup campaigns. He also made 59 appearances in Wasps colours.
In a statement released by Wasps and the Italian Federation, Masi said: "Rugby has been at the core of my life for the past 20 years, and it's not easy to close such an important chapter of my life.
"But I am conscious that I need to follow experts' medical advice, and that this is the only possible way.
"Despite the recovery process progressing positively in the early stages, it didn't heal as hoped, and it became clear I wouldn't be able to continue playing professional rugby.
"I am satisfied that I made every possible effort to come back from the injury, but sadly it wasn't to be. I gave a lot to the game I love, and the game gave a lot to me."
Wasps rugby director Dai Young paid tribute to Masi, adding: "It's hard to summarise the contribution Andrea has made to Wasps, because his impact has been tremendous in all areas of the club.
"His loyalty to stick with Wasps during the tough times - when he received numerous offers to play elsewhere - will never be forgotten.
"He is one of the most genuine and considerate characters you could wish to meet, and is someone who never shirks a challenge.
"That is what makes his enforced retirement all the harder to bear, as he has worked his socks off and done everything humanly possible to come back from the Achilles injury."