‘Smiling Assassin’ a World Cup star

New Saints signing Mose Masoe
New Saints signing Mose Masoe

New Saints signing Mose Masoe was named in the BBC’s Rugby League World Cup squad of the tournament.

The 6ft 5ins human wrecking ball, who made an eye-catching impact for Samoa throughout the tournament, was signed by Saints on a two-year deal from Penrith Panthers this summer.

The BBC’s Dave Woods selected the 24-year-old - known as The Smiling Assassin - to make an impact off the bench in his team of the tournament, which also featured the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Sam Burgess and ex-Saint James Graham.

He wrote: “Watch out for him (Masoe) playing for St Helens next season.

“He will rarely do you an 80-minute stint but when he comes on, what an impression he makes, whether it is some of the defensive big hits he puts in or the runs he makes with the ball in his hand.

Dave Woods’ full squad of the tournament read: Anthony Milford (Samoa), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (New Zealand), Dean Whare (New Zealand), Greg Inglis (Australia), Marika Koroibete (Fiji), Kieran Foran (New Zealand), Danny Brough (Scotland), Jared Warea-Hargreaves (New Zealand), Cameron Smith (Australia), James Graham (England), Sam Burgess (England), Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), Paul Gallen (Australia).

Interchange: Isaac Luke (New Zealand), Ben Westwood (England), Ashton Sims (Fiji), Mose Masoe (Samoa).

Man mountain Masoe has already told how Saints favourite Sia Soliola helped persuade him to sign on the dotted line at Langtree Park.

He said: “I have spoken to Sia a couple of times since he joined Saints and he tells me he loves it there and what a great club it is.

“I couldn’t have received a better recommendation and I’m excited at the prospect of joining one of the biggest clubs in England.”

Masoe also told of his excitement at the prospect of playing in Saints powderkeg derbies against Wigan and Warrington.

“St Helens is one of the best clubs in Super League and I was stoked when I was approached by them,” he said. “it was great that such a strong team would want me to play for them.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Challenge Cup and the big games like Wigan. I love those rivalries and the passion that comes from the fans.

“I like to run and tackle hard. It will be good to measure up against some of the best players in the world.”

Saints’ head coach Nathan Brown told of his delight at securing Masoe’s services.

He said: “Mose is a big forward and will add a great deal of size to our pack.

“He is also young and still developing and will complement the squad.”