Not being able to end your rugby league career on your own terms is devastating for a player and for veteran Richie Fa’aoso, injury has struck, with the prop forced to retire from the game due to a fractured vertebrae.
On the back of medical advice and recommendations from doctors, a successful return to rugby league was no longer an option for him, given the nature of his injury.
The club are sorry that Fa’aoso’s career had to end in this way but they will continue to support him throughout the rehabilitation process.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for Richie and his family. No one wishes for the career of a player to be cut-short, but regardless of who you are, a playerâ€™s health and wellbeing will always remain the most important factor when a decision such as this is made,” Sea Eagles General Manager David Perry said.
“The Club, along with the NRL, will continue to support Richie with his rehabilitation, as well as the transition to life after football. This includes assisting him in the completion of suitable educational courses.â€
“On behalf of all Sea Eagles members, supporters, fans and staff – I’d like to thank and congratulate Richie for his commitment and achievements to our Club and the game of Rugby League.”
With a career spanning 155 games across six clubs, Fa’aoso also enjoyed a stint in the English Super League with the Castleford Tigers and whilst he is disappointed, he is grateful to have played rugby league at the highest level for so long.
â€œItâ€™s very disappointing and unfortunate, but I feel blessed to have played with the people I have over so many years,â€ Faâ€™aoso said.
â€œIâ€™ve had many highs and lows in my career and Iâ€™m extremely grateful for the opportunities the game of rugby league has given me.
â€œI want to thank the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, and in particular, my family and friends, who have supported me throughout my entire career.â€
Playing in 18 games in 2013, he made his presence known and Manly coach Geoff Toovey knows how crucial Fa’aoso’s form was for the club.
â€œRichie was an integral part in our march to the grand final last year and itâ€™s upsetting to see him have his career ended in this way,â€ Sea Eagles Head Coach Geoff Toovey said.
â€œOn behalf of everyone involved with the Club, we thank Richie for his contribution over the past 18 months and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.â€
International honours were something Fa’aoso took pride in, with the veteran playing in 10 Tests for Tonga.