Hull KR prop Korbin Sims will wear the name of Mose Masoe on his shirt for Thursday’s Betfred Super League clash against St Helens.
The whole round of fixtures in the competition over the Easter weekend has been dedicated to Masoe, the former Rovers and Saints forward who suffered a career-ending, life-changing spinal injury last year.
Sims, who has only joined Rovers this year, was not a team-mate but has taken over Masoe’s squad number of 10 and was keen to play his part.
The former St George Illawarra prop said: “I asked them if I could wear it for the round to show respect for Mose. Obviously he’s been a great clubman over in the NRL and here in Super League and it’s only fitting that we play St Helens for Mose.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there, giving it my all and hopefully doing him proud.”
Sims’ shirt will be auctioned after the game to raise money for the Mose Masoe Foundation, which provides support for the player and others who have suffered mental, physical or financial problems.
It is one of a number of initiatives over the weekend with fans also being encouraged to buy virtual tickets for the match, which is being played behind closed doors at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Rovers coach Tony Smith, who has spoken passionately about the need to support Masoe, has welcomed Super League’s gesture of dedicating a whole round to him.
Smith said: “It’s brilliant that it’s for Mose. I’ve been constant in saying that he needs our help now and he’s going to need our help in the future.
“We’re really grateful for Super League, the RFL and the NRL, in jumping on board, for us all to have an opportunity to help someone from within our game that needs it.
“Sometimes it feels like we’re always helping someone but that’s our sport, that’s what we’re good at. When we do need help we all come together and help one another.
“If people can help Mose and his young family out for the future that’ll be great but, if not, we understand.”
New Zealander Masoe, 31, who remains involved with Rovers and will be in attendance on Thursday, suffered severe paralysis after a tackle during a pre-season friendly against Wakefield in January last year.
It was a horrific injury which Smith admits has had a lasting impact on the club and staff.
Smith said: “I don’t want to take anything away from what happened to Mose but we had some players struggle and we are very grateful for the help and support we got from Sporting Chance and Rugby League Cares.
“It certainly had an impact on many of us and some of those players who were on the field with Mose needed support. For me it was probably the first time I had had to deal with something so big and it was tough at times.”