IRB Hall of Fame - Induction No.90 – Joseph Jean Eugène Maso (France) 1944-
One of seven legends inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in London on 17 November 2014. These inductions represent the incorporation into the IRB Hall of Fame following the acquisition of the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
Born: 27 December, 1944 in Toulouse, France
Jo Maso began his playing days in Rugby League, following in the footsteps of his father Jep, who was a French international in the 13-man code. While still in his teens, he decided to switch to union and went on to enjoy a stellar career as both a player and team official.
He achieved five Grand Slams, one as a player in 1968 – the first time France achieved the ‘clean sweep’ – and four as France’s long-serving team manager in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004. He also appeared in four Rugby World Cups in the off-field role before standing down after the 2011 tournament in New Zealand, where his calming influence helped to keep France on an even keel and reach the final despite reports of rifts in the camp.
Maso, who was 23 at the time of the 1968 Grand Slam, was the personification of French flair either at centre or fly-half. He won 25 caps for his country in a seven-year period between 1966 and 1973, scoring four tries, two of them coming at the Ballymore in Brisbane when France beat Australia 16-15 on their 1973 tour Down Under. He also made three appearances for the Barbarians.