Northampton Saints hooker Samson Ma’asi has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the age of just 21.
The former St Joseph’s College star will be returning to his old school where he will join the teaching and coaching staff, likely playing a vital role in their annual Festival which runs on the 16th and 17th October this year.
Beginning his senior school career at Wootton Upper, Ma’asi represented England at U18 whilst at St Joseph’s, and then at U20 level and he made three 1st XV appearances for Northampton Saints after joining them as a full time after school in the 2018/19 season.
Sadly illness stood in the way of Ma’asi’s career as underwent a kidney transplant in 2019 and was forced to take a long time away from rugby to rehabilitate.
In a statement released by Northampton Saints, Ma’asi said:
“This was a really difficult decision for me to make, but it all came down to doing the right thing for my health. I want to thank all the coaches for their support of me during my time at the Club, and particularly during the last few months as I recovered from my surgery.”
“I loved my time as a Saint, and running out in front of a big Franklin’s Gardens crowd is something I will remember forever – but this is the right time for me to step away from rugby and I’m excited for what the future holds for me.”
Meanwhile Northampton Saints’ Head of Academy, Mark Hopley, added: “Samson is an immensely talented rugby player, and he had a very bright future ahead of him in Black, Green and Gold – but we completely understand the tough decision he has had to make to focus on his health.”
“I’m thrilled we’ve been able to help him to begin a new role in teaching and coaching at St Joseph’s College, where he went to school. I’d like to offer my thanks to Anthony O’Riordan and the school for their support as Samson transitions out of professional rugby.”
“The most important thing for everyone at the Club is Samson’s health and happiness, so we wish him the very best – and he’ll always be a Saint, so we’ll continue to support him however we can in future.”