Highlander Buxton Popoalii retires from rugby

Last updated 11:29 13/03/2014
Buxton Popoalii
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax Media
RETIRED: Highlanders' winger Buxton Popoalii has announced his retirement from all rugby.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Coach Todd Blackadder becomes Crusaders' minister of defence Crusaders commercial manager Warren Goddard defends Highlanders investment Highlanders investment just the ticket for Canadian fan Private investors take control of Super Rugby champion Highlanders Loni 'the Tongan Bear' Uhila reveals his softer side ahead of joining Hurricanes Highlanders on brink of private investment He's 40 but rugby warrior Brad Thorn could play for Reds next year Outgoing Tasman coach Kieran Keane fires parting shots at Crusaders and Canterbury 'Tongan Thor' Taniela Tupou named in Queensland Reds Super Rugby squad John Mitchell rubber-stamped as new Stormers coach

Highlanders winger Buxton Popoalii has retired from all rugby.

The popular Highlanders and Otago player recently had surgery to fix a heart valve.

The problem was detected in early January and cut his 2014 season to just one appearance, against the Crusaders in a preseason match.

Highlanders team doctor Greg Macleod said today: "Due to the nature of the surgery and what the surgeons were required to do to alleviate any ongoing issues, Buxton has been advised to stop playing rugby."

Popoalii, who had surgery in Auckland last week, has been discharged from hospital and is recuperating well.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said: "This is obviously a tough time for Buxton and his family. While we are delighted the operation has gone well and the outlook for his health is positive, we are naturally feeling for him and respect and fully support his decision to retire from rugby.

"I know the team and management have great admiration for Bucky and wish him a speedy recovery from his operation."

Popoalii played 15 games for the Highlanders, making his debut against the Chiefs in 2012, and was known as a winger with a big sidestep and blistering pace off the mark.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?






Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content