Mossop loves life at Number 10

Lee Mossop
Lee Mossop

LEE Mossop was thrilled to be handed the No.10 shirt for 2012 after just one season at prop.

The Cumbrian – No.21 last season – has been rewarded for an outstanding season at front row with his first ‘starting’ number of his career.

Mossop, 22, said: “I was over the moon when Shaun (Wane) told me I was No,10.

“I guess Shaun’s seen something in me and it’s a massive confidence booster.

“Every year I’ve felt more and more like a viable member of the squad and now I have the No.10 shirt it just cements that.

“I can’t say I’m young and still learning any more, it puts me under pressure to perform and hopefully I can raise to that and take a big step forward.”

Fellow academy-product Paul Prescott (8) joins him in the ‘starting’ front row – ahead of more experienced front-rowers Stuart Fielden and Jeff Lima – while Gareth Hock has returned to the pack positions at No.12. He came back from his drugs ban at No.34 midway through last season.

Josh Charnley is the big mover, with coach Wane handing him the No.2 shirt after a stunning full debut campaign in which the academy-product – No.25 last season – scored 27 tries in all competition.

New signing Epalahame Lauaki has been given the No.21 shirt and, intriguingly, THREE shirt numbers – 22 to 24 – have been left vacant. They are expected to be filled by Welsh forwards Ben Flower, Gil Dudson and possibly a centre from the NRL, should Wane identify a three-quarter he thinks would strengthen the squad.

In other changes, stand-off Brett Finch moves from Number 17 to 6 and Darrell Goulding reverts back to a centre spot, from 2 to 3.

Young players including Joe Mellor, Logan Tomkins, Jack Hughes and Greg Burke complete the list. The No.18 is again reserved for fans.

Ryan Hoffman, Paul Deacon, Joel Tomkins, Eamon O’Carroll, Andy Coley, John Walker and Karl Pryce have left from last season’s squad.