Ex-Hull KR boss Tim Sheens meets up with "inspirational" Mose Masoe ahead of Combined Nations All Stars

The Combined Nations All Stars playing jersey for their Mid-Season International next month has been inspired by Mose Masoe - and £10 from each sale will go to the former Hull KR star’s foundation.

Combined Nations All Stars coach Tim Sheens visits Mose Masoe at home as he builds up to the fixture against England.
Combined Nations All Stars coach Tim Sheens visits Mose Masoe at home as he builds up to the fixture against England.

The All Stars have teamed up with OXEN, the RFL’s new technical kit partners, to show their support for the New Zealander in his heroic battle against a life-changing injury.

Masoe, 32, had to retire last year after a spinal injury suffered in a game for Rovers at Wakefield Trinity initially left him paralysed.

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The determination and dogged spirit shown in his partial recovery has inspired many and the shirt for the All Stars’ inaugural fixture against England on June 25 has been designed with Masoe’s career and character.

It will include a subtle nod to all the clubs that the Samoa international represented in his career, as well as a unique shoulder and sleeve design that replicates his own tattoos.

The donation from each jersey sale will go to the Mose Masoe Foundation, the charity that was set up in the light of his injury to provide support for his family, but with the long-term goal of supporting other Rugby League players who suffer spinal injuries.

All Stars coach Tim Sheens the former Australia boss who signed Masoe for Hull KR in 2017 when he was in charge at Craven Park, met him to deliver the news.

“One of the first things we agreed as a management team was that we’d want to do something to support Mose,” said Sheens.

A hint of the Combined Nations All Stars playing jersey

“He’s a great example of what we want the team to represent - overseas players who have given so much to the competition over here, and who are coming together for a unique Rugby League experience.

“Mose is such a popular guy with the Rugby League community, whether players, coaches or supporters.

"The courage he’s shown with such amazing support from his family has inspired everyone, and we have to say a big thank you to OXEN for their generous support of this initiative.”

Masoe represented Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers in the NRL, before moving to the UK, where he won the Super League with St Helens in 2014 and played more than 50 times for Rovers.

He said: “I am so grateful for this amazing gesture from Tim Sheens and the Combined Nations All Stars.

“I’ve had wonderful support from the Rugby League family, and the overseas players in the Super League are like another family.

“I’m really excited to see the team that Tim picks, with so much talent to choose from, and I can’t wait to see them have a crack at the England team.”

Following on from the Exiles, who played four fixtures against England between 2011 and 2013, the Combined Nations All Stars have been created to provide a stiff mid-season test for England.

They will also honour the history of ‘Other Nationalities’ teams that have been part of the sport since 1903 and have featured an array of Rugby League legends, including Brian Bevan, Dave Valentine and Billy Boston.

OXEN CEO Lee Jenkinson said: “We are delighted to be working with Mose and his foundation on the design of the Combined Nations All Stars shirt for the 2021 Mid-Season International.

“Having sat down with Mose and (Masoe’s partner) Carissa to work on the design, Mose identified what he’d like to see on the shirt, and I think that concept has been brought to life in a magnificent way.

“I’d like to thank Mose and Carissa for their time and effort in helping us pull the design together and we’ll watch with pride when the Combined Nations All Stars wear the shirt against England.”

The Combined Nations All Stars jersey will be officially released next month – with the new England playing range, the first designed and produced by OXEN, also to be unveiled then.

A limited allocation of tickets are on sale now for England Men versus the Combined Nations All Stars (KO 8.15pm) on a historic night that will also include England Women taking on Wales (KO 6pm) on Friday 25 June at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.

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