MOSE Masoe is feeling some heat again and believes the Combined Nations All Stars can turn it up on England by beating them.
The Hull KR star is continuing his inspirational recovery from a career-ending spinal injury that initially left him paralysed from the shoulders down.
His latest step forward is being able to feel hot and cold in his hands. Previously it was only his head that had the sensations.
Masoe’s fightback is the inspiration behind the All Stars’ jersey for tonight’s clash with Shaun Wane’s side – it features all his junior, amateur and professional clubs, as well as some of his tattoos.
It also bears the name of the Mose Masoe Foundation, which is raising funds to make sure he can continue his recovery when he moves back to Australia in November and a portion of sales is donated to it.
And he sees no reason why it cannot be a winning shirt, one he presented to Tim Sheens’ side of Super League’s best non-England players last night.
Masoe, who suffered his injury 17 months ago, said: “I’m still smashing the physio but the 18-month mark is when you peak, when you get back as much as you’re going to get back.
“So I’m trying to get stronger and work on the little things.
“I can now feel hot and cold on my hands, which is progress in itself. Above the shoulders, everything’s normal. Below them, it’s just like a dull sensation.
“My body feels it, it’s just the messages get blocked somewhere along the way and my body’s been struggling with the humidity as I get tired. I need to sit down for a bit or sometimes have a nap in the front room.
“It’s harder in this country too to get cool as houses don’t have air conditioning and things like that!”
Masoe’s fund which will help him once he moves back to Queensland will get a further boost by the Walk and Talk campaign.
That has seen a ball flown to New Zealand and Australia, signed by every NRL captain and now over here, walked to every Super League game this week and signed by all 12 captains.
It will then be presented to Masoe at the Hull derby on July 1 and auctioned off for the charity, which he says has already helped ‘massively.’
Before then, though, is his duty of giving the shirts to the All Stars players and just having that privilege is a thrill.
Masoe, 32, also feels Tim Sheens’ side can stun the hosts, adding: “They can certainly beat England. Players in the All Stars have been at the highest level. They can give England one hell of a game and it’s something England will need.
“And presenting the jerseys is going to be awesome. I had a phone call from the kit company saying, ‘It’s going to be after you.’ I thought it was pretty cool.
“They fitted in every club I’ve ever played for – even the Randwick Kingfishers and Wellington Orcas. The junior clubs add even more to it and some of the tattoo I had done when I played for Samoa.
“I’m glad I had no daft tattoos when I was younger. I’m going to really appreciate it when I get older and show it my kids. It’s a massive honour.
“And the ball’s being handed over on July 1. I said to the missus, though, ‘One of the little ones will have to hold it as I’ll be concentrating on walking with my crutches!”
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