LEE Mossop is destined to carve out the rest of his career at prop, according to one of Super League’s greatest front-rowers.
The Cumbrian is poised to blast back into the Warriors side this weekend after a three-game lay-off through injury.
He has not figured since dislocating his shoulder in the Challenge Cup Final, and is hoping to get the nod to face Catalan in Sunday’s vital play-off DW decider.
Mossop has stepped up from the back-row this year and settled into the prop role, producing a series of powerful performances throughout the campaign.
And team-mate Stuart Fielden reckons the 22-year-old will stay in the front-row club for the rest of his playing days.
Fielden said: “Lee’s got to be up there with one of the top performing props.
“His consistency has been terrific.
“I’ve been winding him up, saying that once you become a prop you never go back, and I think it’ll ring true to be honest.
“He’s had bits playing at prop in the past, when he’s pushed up from second row, so he’s not been completely new to it.
“But this year he’s been great and every game, more or less, I’ve said ‘good game’ because he’s played well.
“It’s just unfortunate that he had his shoulder problem, but hopefully it’ll be sweet for him.”
Mossop’s move to the front-row coincided with the loss of Fielden to injury.
Originally sidelined with a knee problem, he was on the brink of making a return when he tore his pectoral, ruling him out for the rest of the year.
The former Great Britain hard-man has figured just once this year, against old club Bradford in February.
He is naturally disappointed to be sidelined and missing out on the Warriors’ Grand Final assault.
The 32-year-old said: “I’ve only missed about 30 games in my career, so to miss the season has been a nightmare.
“But some lads are unfortunate and go through their careers with a lot of injuries, they play part of the year, get injured, come back, get injured... I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve never had that - it’s all come in one lump this year.”
Fielden, who expects to be fit again in January, is also battling a nasty finger infection.
But the injuries have not prevented him from ripping into training and making the most of conditioner Mark Bitcon’s expertise.
“At first I did a lot of work with Gaz Hock and Eamon O’Carroll, I put on a lot of size and strength, and it was probably the best condition I’d been in,” he said.
“I’d never had just three months of not playing, and just doing weights.
“Mark’s the best conditioner I’ve worked with. My strength improved, massively.
“Some boys I worked with, like Paul Anderson, used to benchpress 160kg and I was never anywhere near that - I was always around 140.
“But we got near to equalling the club record of 180 which Andy Farrell did, which showed how much I gained.
“That would happen with Mark and most people, because he spends so much time on it, and looking at nutrition to put on strength and size, and it was great because it was all I had to push myself.”