Mo Moves in as Moony Makes a Move
PGRFC are delighted to welcome prop Mo Mustafa to Lightfoot Green. The player dubbed “The Beast from the Middle East” has signed on a Dual Registration deal from Championship club Leeds Carnegie for the remainder of this season. Mustafa 22, is in his second season at Headingley and comes to Lightfoot Green to get some game time as he continues his recovery from injury. He can play on both sides of the scrum and at 1.88m and weighing in around 130kg he will add some size and power to the Hoppers pack. He is a medical student at Liverpool University and moving to Hoppers will allow him to commit the necessary time to his studies whilst getting some valuable training and playing time with the club. Under the terms of the dual registration he can be recalled by Leeds at any stage between now and the end of the season.
In a further strengthening of ties with the Leeds club, Hoppers skipper Dominic Moon will be moving to Headingley on a short term deal to provide back row cover. Moon will link up with former Hoppers coach Dave Baldwin (now forwards coach at Leeds) this week and join in full time training. Leeds are currently short of options in the back row following a number of injuries, suspensions and representative call ups. The deal is an open-ended arrangement, which will be reviewed in due course. At this stage it is anticipated that Moon will return to Lightfoot Green after a month but this depends on how quickly Leeds are able to get their missing contingent back in action.
Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer said about the moves “We are delighted to welcome Mo to Lightfoot Green and at the same time this is an excellent opportunity for Dominic to go and play in a full time professional environment. Everyone knows that we have good links with Dave Baldwin and these moves are good for all involved. Mo is based over in the North West with his studies and we are a good fit logistically and in a playing sense. Mo will bring some added power to our forward options and at the same time he will get some game time as he builds back to full fitness. He will come straight into the selection mix and he would have been involved last weekend at Birmingham if the game had gone ahead”.
Speaking about Moon’s move in the opposite direction, Dyer continued, “Dave (Baldwin) mentioned that Leeds had a few issues and enquired as to whether we would release Dominic to go and spend some time at Headingley. Both Mike Lough and I had no hesitation in agreeing the move. Once a few bits and pieces were sorted out, both in terms of the paperwork and Dominic being able to reorganise his circumstances, it was agreed that he would go and train with Leeds and they would have a look at him to see if he can provide the cover they are looking for. Dave obviously knows what Dominic can provide and I am sure he will give it everything. Dominic is a big player for us but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and do the right thing by the player. To have stood in his way would have been wrong. The deal is flexible and we will remain in contact with Leeds throughout. We have plenty of players vying for starting positions in the back row and there is now an opportunity for someone to come in and make their case starting with this weekends game against Dudley Kingswinford”.
“It is positive for the club that we continue to build links with the professional game. We are in regular contact with a number of full time clubs and for aspiring players PGRFC is an excellent place to develop and play. The feedback we have received confirms that our coaching set up and approach is seen as a superb breeding ground for players and we will continue to work hard to improve this further”.