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'Right thing for my health': Ma'asi quits after kidney transplant

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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Northampton Saints hooker Samson Ma’asi has retired from professional rugby with immediate effect following a kidney transplant. The 21-year-old made three first-team appearances after signing his first professional contract ahead of the 2018/19 season, becoming Saint #2010 when he made his debut in a Gallagher Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons that term.


Ma’asi also represented England at U18s and U20s level, even starting for his country when Franklin’s Gardens hosted an age-grade Six Nations clash against Scotland in 2019. However, illness curtailed the progress of Ma’asi that summer as he was forced to take some time away from rugby at Northampton to undergo a kidney transplant.

Despite the young hooker returning to training at Franklin’s Gardens in 2020, he has now decided to hang up his boots for good to focus on his health. “This was a really difficult decision for me to make, but it all came down to doing the right thing for my health,” said Ma’asi.

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“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.”

Northampton head of academy Mark Hopley added: “Samson is an immensely talented rugby player and he had a very bright future ahead of him, but we completely understand the tough decision he has had to make to focus on his health.

“I’m thrilled we have 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. He will always be a Saint, so we will continue to support him however we can in future.”


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