Wales international Samson Lee announces retirement

Samson Lee has played 164 matches for the Scarlets across 12 seasons
Samson Lee has played 164 matches for the Scarlets across 12 seasons

Scarlets and Wales tight-head prop Samson Lee has announced his retirement from professional rugby following an injury.

Lee ruptured his Achilles tendon during a training session in South Africa in March 2022 and has failed to make a recovery.

The 31-year-old made his professional rugby debut with provincial side Llanelli in 2010 at the age of 19 and went on to make his debut for Scarlets in 2012. He went on to make 164 appearances for Scarlets spread across 12 seasons. He also was part of the title winning side in the 2016/17 season.

He went on to make his Test debut for Wales in 2013 and has featured in 45 games for his national side. He was also part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup squad and the side that clinched the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2019.

“It has been a difficult 18 months. I have worked hard to try and get back playing again, but the Achilles hasn’t recovered as we all hoped it would," he told in a statement released by Scarlets.

“I feel as though I still had a lot to offer, both with the Scarlets and Wales, but I’m hugely proud, as a Llanelli boy, that I have been able to represent my home town, wearing the Scarlets jersey 164 times and also play for my country on the biggest stage.

“There have been plenty of highs, making my debut at the age of 19, brilliant wins in Europe and of course, that PRO12 title out in Dublin – a special day with a special group of people. There have also been the challenges of trying to battle back from some serious injuries.

“I was hoping there would be a few more years left, but it’s not to be. There’s a lot of fantastic young talent coming through here, especially in the front row, and I look forward to seeing how they get on over the coming years.

“I’d like to thank my family and friends, players, coaches and all the staff who have made it such a brilliant experience over the last 12 years and, of course, the fans, who turn up week in week out and give us such incredible support. Thank you all.”