Human wrecking ball Mose Masoe is set to miss the start of the Super League season after undergoing surgery on an ankle ligament injury he suffered while playing for Samoa in the World Cup.
But the man mountain prop is hopeful Saints fans won’t have to wait too long to see him in action - potentially missing just the first two rounds.
After arriving at a pre-season press conference in a protective boot, he said: “I picked up the injury playing for Samoa against France. I thought it might have the chance to heal but we didn’t want to take the risk so I had surgery and got it fixed.
“I think I will maybe miss just two games, which is not too bad because it’s a long season here. It’s frustrating not to be out on the field with the guys - you miss that bond and working on combinations - but at least it’s not a long term injury.
“At the moment I’m training in the gym with the other injured guys. Hopefully I’ll be able to start running in a couple of weeks and just take it from there.”
At 6ft 6ins tall and 20-plus stone, Masoe, nicknamed the smiling assassin, was impossible to miss while starring for Samoa in last year’s end of season World Cup.
And the genial 24-year-old said he was delighted to receive scores of tweets from Saints fans congratulating him on his performances.
He also told of his excitement at signing for such an illustrious club.
“Saints are such a good team,” he said. “They’re similar to the Roosters in the NRL - the glamour club of Super League - so it was an easy decision for me to come here. I had an opportunity the year before but the timing wasn’t quite right.
“It was great to sign at the same time as my Panthers teammate Luke Walsh too. He’s like a little general, bossing you around. He’s really good on the field though and teams need that direction at times. I’ve come half way around the world and he’s still bossing me around!
“I knew Sia Soliola already too and it’s made the transition a lot easier for me. Sia actually got in contact with me to congratulate me on signing before anyone was supposed to know!
“He told me how much he loved it over here and to make the most of the opportunity, which is what I’m aiming to do.”
And Masoe, sure to be a hit with the Langtree Park fans, has backed Saints to end their trophy drought in 2014.
He added: “Everyone wants to win but I definitely think we could challenge for silverware this year. We’ve got a good balance of players in our team, some fast outside backs and a good set of forwards.
“It’s always important to have a good pack - the backs can only play when the forwards are going forward. To have competition in the pack just to make the team is really going to help our side.”