FORMER Wales winger Tom James has retired from professional rugby at the age of 33.

The speedster won 12 caps and played for Cardiff Blues and Exeter before finishing at the Scarlets.

The winger made his Test debut against England in 2007 and last played on the international scene against Scotland in the 2016 Six Nations.

James, who took a break from rugby while having treatment for depression in 2018, has decided to hang up his boots after 14 seasons as a pro.

“With a lot of time to think, I’ve made a decision to retire from professional rugby,” he said.

“I have loved the opportunity that the Scarlets have given me this season. It’s been an awesome experience meeting new players, coaches and staff who will be friends for life.

Western Telegraph:

“Looking back, I have some wonderful memories over the last 14 years; from signing my first contract at Cardiff Blues, running out onto Twickenham to make my Wales debut against England in 2007 and the couple of seasons I had with Exeter Chiefs.

“I’ve had unbelievable experiences in so many countries and that is all down to rugby.

“I have been fortunate to have been coached by the best coaches and have played with some of the best players in the world, including my idol Gareth Thomas.”

Before joining the Scarlets, James played 163 games for Cardiff Blues and is their all-time top try scorer after crossing 60 times.

He enjoyed two years with the Chiefs in the English Premiership and also played for his hometown club Merthyr.

Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar said: “TJ has been awesome. Unfortunately, he picked up a couple of knocks back-to-back, so from a playing point of few he didn’t get as many opportunities as he would have hoped for, however that never lessened his spirit or drive.

“An outstanding professional on and off the field, as a senior pro and class man, the value he has brought with his experience, presence and bubbliness has been superb.

“I am thrilled for TJ that he has had this positive experience at the Scarlets and is now able to make this decision on his own terms.

“Having enjoyed an outstanding career, all of us at the Scarlets wish TJ, Brooke and their children well for the future.”