HULL KINGSTON Rovers forward Mose Masoe was last night showing “signs of improvement” after undergoing surgery on a “serious spinal injury”.
An appeal fund has been established to support the 30-year-old Samoan international who was hurt making a routine tackle during a pre-season game at Wakefield Trinity two days ago.
The Rugby League Benevolent Fund has flown Masoe’s family from Down Under to be at his bedside. The number 10 was taken to hospital in Leeds and operated on during Sunday evening.
In an update on Masoe’s condition, Rovers said he was “awake and alert and has continued to show signs of improvement”.
The club statement continued: “Mose has an overwhelmingly positive mindset and would like to thank everyone for their concern and well wishes.
“He would also like to extend special thanks to staff at Leeds General Infirmary for their unbelievable care.
“The club will continue to provide further updates as soon as they can and, in the meantime, would ask for privacy for Mose and his family at such a difficult time.”
Masoe was born in Wellington, New Zealand and began his career with Australian NRL club Sydney Roosters in 2010.
He moved on to Penrith Panthers and played in Super League for St Helens from 2014-2015.
An ill-fated return to the NRL with St George-Illawarra was wrecked by a serious knee injury and he joined Rovers during their promotion-winning Championship campaign in 2017.
The Rovers statement added: “If anyone would like to offer a kind donation to support Mose and his family, please do so via the official Hull Kingston Rovers donation page.
“The club wishes to thank the Rugby League Benevolent Fund for flying Mose’s family over to be with him.”
The injury is another sickening blow for a sport still reeling from the news Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Speaking at yesterday’s season launch in Huddersfield, Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “Our thoughts are with Mose Masoe. The rugby league community sends him its warmest wishes.”
The injury happened on the day Leeds Rhinos faced Bradford Bulls in a benefit game for Burrow played in front of a 19,000 full house at Emerald Headingley.
Rimmer said: “If ever we were to be reminded how good we are and how special this sport is, it was by an event like [Sunday’s game].
“The sport stood shoulder to shoulder to benefit one of its own. We are tough and enduring and we always will be.”
Online donations for Mosoe and his family can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hull-kingston-rovers-trust.
The Robins continue their pre-season campaign at home to Championship side Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.