THE family bloodlines are about to get even thicker at Wests Tigers with teenage whiz kid Mitchell Moses, the nephew of Balmain icon Benny Elias, set to make his NRL debut against Penrith on Sunday
In a wonderful rugby league family twist, Moses, 19, will make his NRL debut at the Tigers spiritual home, Leichhardt Oval, the same suburban venue where his uncle carved out a ball-playing reputation in the 1980s.
Whereas Elias brought cheek and creative flair out of dummy-half, Moses has played the majority of his junior football in the halves, starring in the Australian Schoolboys class of 2012 alongside fellow Tigers young gun Luke Brooks.
On Sunday against the table-topping Panthers, Moses is expected to get an opportunity playing fullback after James Tedesco suffered a broken knee cap last weekend, ruling him out for up to 12 weeks.
Fortuitously, Moses will get the perfect tutor to help him adapt to the intricacies of wearing the no.1 jumper in Tigers coach Mick Potter, who won two Dally M Medals playing fullback in 1984 and 1991.
When contacted by The Daily Telegraph, Potter said Moses had been training at fullback this week because the club was still awaiting a fitness report on Blake Austin, who sustained an ankle injury
“We’ve got to see how Blake Austin is, he’s having a bit of trouble with his ankle,” Potter said.
“Mitchell’s on standby. He trained with the side the other day because Blake was sick and I’m waiting for the physio to give me a call.
“It could work out Mitchell does play but we will give Blake ample opportunity to recover.”
Moses was previously slated to make his NRL debut in round nine against premiers Sydney Roosters before being suspended for two weeks for making a homophobic slur in the under 20s State of Origin fixture.
Mitchell Moses, Curtis Sironen and Luke Brooks.
The ascension of Moses to the NRL continues the strong family ties from the Balmain Tigers side which played in the 1988 and 1989 grand finals, where Wayne Pearce, Paul Sironen, Steve Roach, Garry Jack and Elias were all club icons.
Sironen’s son, Curtis, recently returned from a foot injury and has been earmarked as an NRL star of the future for the past couple of seasons, Pearce’s son Mitchell has played NRL since age 17 while Jack’s son Kieran is a star for the Sydney Swans in the AFL.
Moses, Brooks and Sironen were all products of the renowned rugby league nursery Holy Cross Ryde.
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