St George Illawarra’s new 130kg enforcer Mose Masoe is surprised to be picked but reckons he can make a dent at next week’s NRL Auckland Nines tournament.
The former Sydney Roosters and Penrith prop has spent the past two years with St Helens in the English Super League and believes his game has grown in leaps and bounds.
But even Masoe was taken aback by his selection in Paul McGregor’s squad for the fast-paced Nines event.
“It was surprising for myself because it’s not really meant to be for the bigger dudes,” the 199cm Samoa international said.
“It’s more for the faster guys, so I’m quite stoked at being named.
“It’ll be less people to tackle me, so I might get a few one on one situations, get a bit more space to target smaller guys.”
Masoe’s size and strength have always left coaches salivating.
But having struggled to live up to the potential seen when he broke through with with the Roosters in 2010, he reinvented himself in the UK and is grateful for a second chance in the NRL.
“I’ve matured as a player and I picked up some useful things in England,” said Masoe.
“And I’ve already picked up things here with the Dragons in terms of training and fitness.”
The one thing that could keep Masoe from lining up at the Nines is a rib cartilage injury suffered at training last week.
“It’d be good to play in the Nines, but if it’s not ready I don’t want to risk my season,” he said.
“It’s just one of those annoying injuries and takes time to heal.”
Masoe is one of several promising off-season recruits at the Dragons, who finished eighth last year, and the potential is there for a deep post-season run in 2016, but Masoe couldn’t be talked into a prediction.
“We’ll keep ripping in and see how we go,” he said.
“Maybe we’ll fly under the radar and see if we can get some teams, and try and make the eight like they did last year.”