Ex-Tongan International, back-row forward, Maama Molitika has confirmed his decision to retire from playing rugby!
Maama, 45 (1.96m, 108kg), has called time on a rugby career spanning 21 seasons that started at Bridgend Ravens in 1999 and included short spells in Japan with IBM Big Blue and Italy with Rugby San Dona.
However, the majority of his career has been in the UK. He made his name in Wales with firstly Bridgend, helping them to their first Welsh Premiership title in 2003 and finished the season as joint top try scorer.
Following the regionalisation of Welsh Rugby in 2003/04, Maama joined the Celtic Warriors for their only season of existence and played for them in both the Celtic League and Heineken Cup. When the Warriors were dissolved, Maama played a season at Harlequins in the Premiership and then spent a year in Japan.
He returned to Wales and joined Cardiff Blues in 2007 where he went on to made 112 appearances over 7 seasons, winning the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2009 and the Amlin European Challenge Cup against Toulon in 2010 – the first Welsh side to win a European trophy! Maama also played in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2008 at the Millenium Stadium that was decided on penalties (finishing 6-7 to Leicester) after an extra-time stalemate. To date the only rugby match game to be decided in this way.
Maama was capped by Tonga 18 times and played in the 2007 World Cup against England at Parc de Princes and represented the Pacific Islanders 3 times in 2006!
Maama joined Ampthill in 2013, going on to make 160 1st XV appearances over the past 7 seasons and was a key member of the squads winning promotion to firstly National One and then the Greene King IPA Championship. Having helped the Mob to a 5th place finish in their first season in Level 2, Maama has decided against “one more year”!
Maama had this to say about his decision “I would just like to say a big thank you to Mark Lavery and Paul Turner for giving me the opportunity to be part of Ampthill Rugby and to carry on my career. I’ve been at Ampthill for 7 seasons, and seen the club move from National 2 status to Championship and I will continue to track its performance and follow and support the club every step of the way.
My professional rugby career has spanned over 21 years and I am lucky to have experienced all the things I have, from playing for my country at International level to being selected for the Barbarians, through to playing for each and every club I have. I am now moving onto the next chapter which will hopefully include me staying within the game and allowing me to coach others using my experience and knowledge.”
Head Coach, Paul Turner comments “Thanks Maama for your huge contribution to Ampthill Rugby. You will remain as one of the key figures in our great climb up the leagues into the Championship.
Both your onfield performances and your off-field manner have been outstanding. All the very best in your retirement from the game.
Great man, Great Player.”prMaama