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29 July 2016

Staff Profile: Nick Mason

Nick Mason OA, King Alfred 2011 and now Tuckwell Assistant Housemaster, was recently selected for the Exeter Chiefs squad, which kicked off the new 2016/17 season with a bang when they took part in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Nick had previously risen through the junior ranks at Taunton Titans to join their first team.

Nick made his debut for the Titans in the 2013/14 season just before Christmas against London Irish Wild Geese, where he went on to score. He won the TRFC Young Player of the Year for that season.

In a hugely impressive 2015/2016 season, Nick won the Oli Massingham Supporters’ Player of the Season award, having scored five tries against Cornish All Blacks at Hyde Park earlier this year. In only his second full season of Titans rugby, Nick has certainly proved that hard work and dedication pay off. It was seen as a fitting tribute that a player who had come through the Taunton junior section and progressed to the first team through his own dedication and hard work was the first player to win the award.

Titans head coach Tony Yapp believes the hard work started to pay off for Nick after his five-try haul in the 76-5 demolition of the Cornish All Blacks at Hyde Park earlier in the season. Nick, who started at outside centre before moving to the wing, was the star of the show in a commanding Titans win, and Tony felt it was no surprise that his rise to form coincided with a period of hard work in the gym.

Tony said: “I can't go without mentioning someone who was set the challenge of gaining more weight in the gym to make him stronger as a player. It just so happened that Nick scored five tries on the weekend and was outstanding.

“Is it a coincidence that since Nick has been working hard in the gym he's been scoring tries for fun and is becoming very difficult to stop? I think not.”

Nick’s success did not go unnoticed and he was first approached by the Chiefs back in March this year.

Nick said: “My manager at the Titans said Ricky Pellow had been really impressed with my performance after coming to watch one of our matches.I was invited to play with the team under the banner ‘Exeter Uni’ in a small tournament in Topsham, and following this I went down for a training session, and then joined the A league team when they played against London Irish.”

Unfortunately, soon afterwards, Nick was injured, meaning he was out of action for the remainder of the season. Once he had recovered, Nick attended another training session with the Chiefs, who offered him a place in the first team.

Commenting on his recent appointment, Nick said: “I’m really excited about this and what the future holds. I’m not training every day at present, but the commitment down at Taunton is still very busy and I will look to get down to Exeter a couple of times before the Singha finals in a few weeks. I'm not looking too far into the future and just enjoying my rugby at the moment!”

As well as playing professional rugby, Nick works as a member of the school’s ground staff, and is an Assistant Housemaster; two jobs that keep him very busy.

Focusing on rugby for the time being, attention now turns to the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Final in a fortnight’s time.

Good luck Nick, we wish you and the team all the best!

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