Hull KR v St Helens - Promising prop Mustapha ‘switched on’ for Robins bow

Promising prop Muizz Mustapha says it will be a “huge pleasure” to make his Hull KR debut at champions St Helens tonight.

Muizz Mustapha, the on-loan Leeds Rhinos prop, is eager to make his debut for Hull KR against St Helens. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

The Nigerian-born forward, who turns 21 this Saturday, is on a season-long loan from Leeds Rhinos.

He did not feature in Rovers’ Betfred Super League opener - the gut-wrenching Golden Point extra-time loss to Catalans Dragons - but has been drafted into Tony Smith’s squad for this evening’s contest.

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Mustapha has played only two Super League games previously, both for Leeds towards the end of last term, but is looking to show Rovers that he can handle the higher standard.

“It was a huge pleasure when I found out,” said the former England Academy international. “It’s just what I’ve been waiting for. Since pre-season, this is what I’ve been working towards.

“I thought I might be waiting a bit longer so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity now and looking to take the chance.”

Mustapha made his senior debut with a solitary game on loan at Championship Featherstone Rovers against Leigh Centurions in October 2018.

His Rhinos bow came the following season in the Challenge Cup against Workington Town and he also made two appearances for Dewsbury Rams and another seven in League One for Newcastle Thunder.

Hull KR head coach, Tony Smith. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

However, Leeds want him to develop this term in a Super League environment and Smith was keen to bring him to Hull College Craven Park.

Now Mustapha will find himself up against England prop Alex Walmsley the 30-year-old who Saints yesterday revealed had signed a new deal until the end of 2024.

He said: “Walmsley is a great player. He’s one of the best props in the game at the moment and I’m looking forward to playing against him.”

He added: “I’ve enjoyed working at Rovers with props like Korbin Sims and Albert Vete.

“That’s been class.

“They are both from the NRL and have a lot of experience and tips to share. I’ve watched them a lot and picked up things to add to my game.

“From my Super League games with Leeds, I learned it’s fast. And you have to be switched on all the time or you get caught if you’re caught napping.

“Hopefully. I can play more matches and show what I can do.”

n Hull FC prop Masi Matongo faces at least two months out having undergone surgery following a knee injury suffered in training.

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