Gareth Thomas has quit 'The Jump' for "personal reasons".

Gareth Thomas

Gareth Thomas

The former rugby union player has walked away from the Channel 4 show just days before the finale and has already been replaced by 'The Only Way Is Essex' star Lydia Bright.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "Gareth Thomas has withdrawn due to personal reasons."

Gareth, 42, had been poised to battle it out with Louis Smith, Kadeena Cox, and Emma Parker Bowles to win the winter sports-themed TV programme.

But Lydia has now assumed Gareth's place on the programme on account of the fact she was the last to be eliminated.

Gareth is the fourth celebrity contestant to withdraw from this year's series, after Caprice suffered an illness, Sir Bradley Wiggins broke his leg and Vogue Williams withdrew before an episode had aired.

A representative for Caprice said at the time: "Caprice has actually withdrawn from the competition completely due to illness."

But even prior to her decision to quit the show, Caprice had been battling with a number of injury problems.

She previously shared: "You are training eight hours a day so I've been tired and had bad falls, aches and pains and bruises. I hurt my head and fractured my ribs when I was practicing the ski jump. As I hit the airbag, my skis bashed against me."

Last year, meanwhile, bosses of the show came under fire when Beth Tweddle broke her back competing in the series, Rebecca Adlington dislocated her shoulder and Tina Hobley injured her elbow.

As a result of the injuries, it was agreed that the majority of the programme, which is filmed in Austria, would be pre-recorded.