FANS favourite Mose Masoe has revealed his decision to leave Langtree Park had nothing to do with rugby.
The Kiwi star announced a move back Down Under last month, after agreeing a deal which will see him pull on the red vee of St George Illawarra Dragons next term.
But Masoe, a 6’ 6” wrecking ball of a prop, admits he would have stayed with Super League’s Saints had fate taken a different twist.
“It all started last year,” he revealed to The Reporter.
“When we first moved to St Helens my partner, my daughter and my son from a previous relationship were meant to come over with me.
“His visa got declined so he had to stay in Australia because two parents were living in two different countries.”
The Samoa international faced months of legal battles to bring his seven-year-old son to the North West, and the St Helens club also assisted him throughout the process.
But after two years on the other side of the globe to his son, Masoe admits the distance between them has taken its toll.
“It was quite hard for the authorities to let him through,” he revealed.
“We fought against it for a while and the club really helped me out trying to get him over here. They got a lot of legal help but it just didn’t happen. It took about eight months to get to court and we couldn’t figure it out so I made the decision.
“I sat down with my partner and we asked what’s more important, footy or family - you have to put your family first.
“My son turns eight at the end of this year so I think he’s at the time in his life when he needs someone to set him straight.”
Despite being reunited with his son, Masoe will miss St Helens but has assured fans he thinks the club will be in fine shape when he leaves, such is the quality of young players coming through the ranks.
“I’m going to miss the club,” he said.
“The boys have been great. The coaching staff and everyone here have been helpful and always good for me and my family so I’m going to miss the place.
“But the new young boys coming through are sensational and will just make the team stronger so the club’s in a good place.”
And to supplement his Grand Final winner’s ring from last season’s 14-6 Old Trafford win over Wigan, Masoe wants to add a second title and a Challenge Cup medal to his hand luggage.
“I just want to finish off with a bang,” he smiled.
“I want to get back to back titles and get a Challenge Cup.
“We’ve still got a lot to work on as a team - a couple of little things - but it’d be nice to go home with those two things.”
And he hopes Saints’ success continues after he has left - as he dreams of a meeting with familiar faces in the most high profile club game of all.
He explained: “I said to the boys next season they need to win it and I’ll try to win it with St George so it will be Saints v Saints in the World Club Challenge which would be pretty fun.”
But first his attention is fixed on helping St Helens address a worrying performance in last week’s loss to Leeds - a wake up call he admits will prove useful.
“I think it’s been brewing for a bit,” he admitted.
“You can’t do that against Leeds because they are the best in the comp and they make you pay for your mistakes.
“I think next time we play them we need to get in an arm wrestle and get set for set with them.”
And he has sounded a warning to the rest of the competition that when Saints click into gear, they will be difficult to handle.
“We haven’t really put in a performance as a team yet. We’ve come close but we still haven’t,” he insisted.
“Imagine if we put in a team performance - we could do anything!”