Wasps hit by retirement of former All Black

London Wasps have been hit by the retirement of former All Black scrum-half Mark Robinson due to a recurring injury.

The 34-year-old, who joined London Wasps from Northampton Saints (pictured) back in 2008, has been forced to retire after suffering from “a progressively degenerative right knee”.

“It has been a very difficult season for me and despite every effort to come back, my knee injury is just too severe and too painful to continue,” he told the BBC.

Robinson underwent surgery in May last year in an attempt to solve his knee problem and although he returned in December, the pain has restricted him to just seven appearances since the operation.

Wasps said he has “severe lateral compartment degeneration” and that “ongoing rehabilitation and further consultation with the club’s consultant knee surgeon has determined that the best course of action is to stop playing”.

“The support and encouragement I have received from everyone at Wasps has been fantastic,” added Robinson, who made a total of 24 appearances for the club.

“I have been fortunate to play rugby at the highest level and at some great clubs and, whilst it has been hard to be told you will never play again, I know that it is the right step for my own personal health.

“I will continue to be a part of the club until the end of the season and I hope that the boys can finish on a high with some silverware.”

Robinson, who also played for North Harbour and the Blues in New Zealand, won his three All Blacks caps against England (1998), Scotland (2001) and Argentina (2001).

London Wasps have also announced that lock Dan Leo will leave the club in the summer to join French side Bordeaux.

Leo, 27, joined Wasps in 2006 and has played 87 times for the first team.

“I would like to thank Wasps for giving me the opportunity to play rugby in the UK at the top level and as part of such a great club,” said Leo, who was part of the Samoa World Cup squad in 2007.

“Playing at Wasps has helped me to achieve honours at international level, and had I not have been part of such a successful club then I don’t know that these opportunities would have been possible.

“My move to Bordeaux reflects a personal desire of mine to play abroad and learn a new language.”

“I am excited by the challenge of French rugby, but leave with a great fondness for Wasps’ players, coaches, and fans who have always been so supportive of not only my game but my hairstyles as well!”

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