Human wrecking ball Mose Masoe is set to make his Saints debut after making a quicker than expected recovery from injury.
Saints 20st, 6ft 5ins prop Masoe is expected to be named in coach Nathan Brown’s 19-man squad ahead of Friday’s First Utility Super League home game against Hull KR.
The man mountain Samoa international has now fully recovered from ankle surgery which forced him to miss the opening three fixtures of the new season and is raring to make up for lost time.
He is also relishing the chance of linking up once more with his ex-Panthers team-mate Luke Walsh, who is already making his mark at Langtree Park.
Masoe said: “Walshy is an underrated player but he has got a good kicking game which will be good for us when we’re in a bit of an arm wrestle and need to get up the pitch.
“He’s a tough half-back and he takes the ball right to the line.”
However, Brown made it crystal clear yesterday that he had still to decide whether to select Masoe in his final 17, or wrap him in cotton wool until the following week’s home fixture against the Catalan Dragons.
But whatever option the Saints’ coach takes he warned fans that, while the 24-year-oldform er Penrith Panthers ace, dubbed the ‘Smiling Assassin’ when he played Down Under, had arrived in this country with a glowing reputation and determined to make an immediate impact, he would need time to settle in and adjust to new surroundings.
“Naturally, we have high expectations of the player, otherwise we wouldn’t have signed him in the first place, but he will take a few games to find his feet and I urge our supporters to show a little patience,” said Brown, who will be hoping to guide his table-toppers to a fourth successive win at the expense of the struggling Humbersiders.
“I am happy with the start we’ve made but we are a work in progress with still room for improvement and we will certainly not be under-estimating Rovers despite their position at the wrong end of the league ladder.
“They are a far better side than their early results (a draw and two defeats) suggest and I expect them to climb the table as the season progresses.”
Further good news on the fitness front is that the cork injury (a muscle bruise) which forced half back Gary Wheeler to miss last Thursday’s trip to Salford Red Devils is not too serious and he should be back in action sooner rather than later.