Sam Masters explains Edinburgh Monarchs exit but hints he could return in future

Edinburgh Monarchs captain and talisman Sam Masters won’t be part of the team again in 2023, the Australian rider revealing that he hopes to be based closer to his family in England next year.

Currently back home in Australia, Masters and partner Tegan recently had a second child, Kobe, and the rider wants more time with them in the coming months. He will be a difficult man to replace after making 233 appearances for the club, scoring 2,602 points and an average over seven seasons of 9.53.

Masters, who had a 10.58 average for Monarchs in the season just finished, is held in the highest regard by Monarchs. He won two league titles, one KO Cup, two Premier Trophies, one Four Team, one Pairs, and in season 2022 the Championship Individual to sit alongside the one he won with Somerset back in 2012.

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Leaving open the possibility of a return to the club in a couple of years, he explained: “The sole reason I have to have some time away from Edinburgh is the travel from my base in the UK. I don't really want to leave to be honest, because Edinburgh is an awesome club – the club, the fans, the track are all great. I have two good mechanics in Robbie and Cammy up there as well.

Monarchs skipper and club legend Sam Masters won't be returning to the club in 2023. Picture: Jack Cupido.

“By riding down south I will have a bit more time with the family. I will really miss Edinburgh, and Tegan will too. If Edinburgh was three hours further south I would have spent my whole career there I am sure, but for now I need to have one or two years away – that's what I've told John. There's no reason other than travel I’d want to leave, I’ve never had any hassle or drama with them.”

Masters starts his Australian season soon with the New South Wales titles on December 3. The Aussie Championships will be staged for the first time for a while and he wants to get himself on the grand prix qualification path. Masters added: “I feel I'm riding well enough to be in the GP series, I have beaten these guys riding for my Polish club and I'm keen to do it,”

Sam Masters is hailed by teammates after a masterclass performance against Glasgow Tigers earlier this year. Picture: Jack Cupido