Skip to content

Faye Gaskin: St Helens scrum-half explains emotional retirement and IVF journey decision after Challenge Cup win

St Helens scrum-half Faye Gaskin gave an emotional interview following her side's Challenge Cup win and opened up on her decision to retire to start her IVF journey; Watch London Broncos take on St Helens on Sunday June 16 with kick-off at 3pm, live on Sky Sports

Gaskin made sure to celebrate what will be her last appearance in the Challenge Cup and at Wembley
Image: Faye Gaskin made sure to celebrate what will be her last appearance in the Challenge Cup and at Wembley

St Helens scrum-half Faye Gaskin opened up on the "tough and emotional" decision to retire at the end of the season in order to start her IVF journey after helping to clinch St Helens' fourth Challenge Cup in a row.

Gaskin opened the scoring at Wembley Stadium on the way to a 22-0 victory over Leeds Rhinos, her clinical kicking game and leadership around the field helping St Helens look at ease on the biggest stage.

When the final whistle blew, emotions flooded out as her Challenge Cup career came to an end.

The emotions were heightened given the injury struggles Gaskin has endured to get back playing rugby, a fractured kneecap while celebrating a try in Saints' 34-6 win over York Valkyrie in the Challenge Cup final at Leigh Sports Village in 2021 keeping her sidelined for two years until the 2023 season.

Now, Gaskin is arguably playing the best rugby she ever has been but has decided the time is right for her and her partner to start their IVF journey and step away from the sport, handing her jersey over "in a better place for someone to take it" when the season reaches its conclusion.

"[The night before] the Challenge Cup was pretty emotional. We got letters from our parents and I read it and my mum was like, 'remember when you asked me would you play at Wembley and I said no you wouldn't'. We have done it twice in a row now," said an emotional Gaskin.

"I sat there and looked around the room and thought, 'this is my last time, I am going to take absolutely everything in'.

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gaskin scored a brilliant individual try against Leeds

"[Emily] Rudge said to me, 'there is five minutes left of your Challenge Cup career, don't give in now'.

"It is hard, it is emotional, but the time is right for me and my partner to start our IVF journey so this is the last Challenge Cup game I will play in.

"I just think time comes in a career. We have got some outstanding young half-backs coming through the system, we have got three at Saints who are knocking on England's door.

"Sometimes you leave that shirt in a better place for someone to take it and the time is right for me at Saints now."

Gaskin had another stellar performance for St helens as she wrapped up her Challenge Cup career
Image: Gaskin had another stellar performance for St Helens as she wrapped up her Challenge Cup career

Despite calls from her coach and team-mates to play just "one more year", Gaskin replied that "IVF doesn't work forever".

"It is tough. sometimes you don't want to stop playing rugby but we are women and our bodies work very differently to men," she added.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 08/06/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Women's Challenge Cup Final - Leeds Rhinos v St Helens - Wembley Stadium, London, England - Faye Gaskin climbs the steps to the Royal Box.
Image: Gaskin was all smiles on the way to pick up the trophy

"For now, it is ready for me. Matty [Smith] keeps saying one more year, one more year.

"Unfortunately I can't wait that long. IVF doesn't work forever so we have made the decision together to take that chance in October.

"We know it is not always a happy or success story with IVF, but we are going to give it our best shot and for me, I need to take my step away from the sport."

Watch every match of the 2024 Betfred Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men's, women's, and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports. Also stream with NOW.

Around Sky