Canberra Raiders forward Sia Soliola is one of hundreds of rugby league players across the globe this week, who will be helping to spread the word for his former team mate and good friend Mose Masoe as he embarks on the next and most difficult chapter of his life.
In early 2020 during a trial match against Wakefield Trinity in the UK Super League, the 30 year old Hull KR prop suffered a serious spinal injury, with his recovery well documented throughout the year as he has slowly re-gained the use of his legs and other body movements.
Today, the Men of League Foundation launched the ‘Stand with Mose’ appeal, which is aimed to raise money for Mose and his young family as they continue their long road to recovery. The Super League has also commenced their own appeal for Masoe by fans purchasing a virtual ticket during round two.
Having first met at the Roosters in 2008 and then reconnecting across at St Helen's a few seasons later Soliola and Masoe have maintained a friendship and family connection that spans the globe and now Soilola is helping to spread the word for his good friend.
“We share a special connection as we’ve played together, won a comp together at St Helens and our families have spent time together,” Soliola said. “Mose is one of those nice genuine guys and it's cool that Men of League and the NRL have jumped on board and to help shed some light on what’s happened with Mose.”
Soliola said Mose’s humble nature and carefree attitude would never see him ask for help, but those close to him have identified the need for the rugby league community to come together and offer their support.
“He’s going through a life-changing experience right now and because he’s such a positive guy he doesn’t show all the downsides in what’s happened with him,” he said. “It’s going to be an ongoing thing for him and his family and it's great we can provide ongoing support for them.”
“We’re all parents, brothers and sisters and we’re involved in this game. It’s very hard to see and you really don’t like to see it happen, but when it does one thing, I know about the rugby league community and the rugby league family it gives,” he said. “I know that if something happens to one of ours whether it be a player in the game, an official or staff member the rugby league family gets around them and shows plenty of support. So this is a great opportunity to rally around one of our own and show a lot of good support around Mose and his family.”
The road to recovery will be a long one for Masoe and Soliola said it will be up to his rugby league family to look after him as he continues his journey.
“I was having a chat with him last night to see how everything is going and I think the hardest part is that even though he can walk he still has issues with hands and things like texting and messaging can be quite fatiguing for him.” “We always have a laugh and a joke because that’s the type of guy Mose is and he’ll just laugh everything off and he’s a champion and that’s why I’m going to do everything I can not just now but for the rest of our lives.”